“Ham” and Bean Soup

"Ham" and Bean Soup {Gluten-Free, Vegan} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

Both of my Dad’s parents died recently, within 2½ weeks of each other. My family has been doing lots of reminiscing lately, telling and re-telling all our favorite stories. But aside from stories, there’s also those little things. Just stuff you remember about them, or remember them doing. That’s where this soup comes in.

My grandparents were part of our regular childcare routine, so my siblings and I were over at their house a lot as kids. Now, if my Grandpa was going to make a meal for himself, a likely bet would be bean soup. This was generally met with eyerolls from my Grandma: “you and your bean soup.”

I really don’t remember the specifics of the soup. And I doubt there even were specifics aside from dump beans in a pot, heat. So this is my take on a standard ham and bean soup. It is certainly not how my Grandpa would have made it himself, but I think he would have enjoyed a bowl.

“Ham” and Bean Soup

  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons + ½ teaspoon liquid smoke, divided
  • ¼ cup soy curls, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups vegetarian “no-chicken” broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans Navy beans*
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, salt, and 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke until the salt is dissolved. Add the soy curls. Let sit.
  2. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add the oil. Once shimmering, add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, beans, remaining liquid smoke, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the soy curls and add to the pot. Simmer another 30 minutes. Serve.

Serves 4

Making "Ham" and Bean Soup | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

*Use the entire contents of the can, liquid and all. Otherwise the broth seems too thin. In fact, it’s nice to mash some the beans too.

This recipe is being shared in No Croutons Required, Meat Free Mondays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, and Gluten Free Fridays.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. As a vegetarian, I love using beans in my dishes! This soup looks great!

  2. This is making my mouth water! I’d love for you to join us at my recipe round up that is live now until Thursday night. http://allergy-friendlytastebuds.blogspot.com/2015/12/thursday-recipe-round-up-starts-now-and.html

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