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How To Make An Easy Rustic Bean Soup In Your Dutch Oven

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rustic bean soup with corn bread and a fried pork chopPin

Oh, how I love making soup in a Dutch oven!

It’s that time of year for Dutch oven soup recipes! I love the feeling of the briskness of autumn and the leaves changing colors! 

It just screams pull out your large Dutch oven and make some Dutch oven soups! It’s soup season y’all!

I don’t know about you but I am crazy in love with chilly weather. Well, I love all of the seasons but that’s another post! 

Johnny Appleseed (my husband) loves beans! So my first soup of the season is usually a white bean soup.

What Kind of Beans To Use in Your Dutch Oven Soup

This soup is so versatile! You can make all kinds of soups with white beans, especially on a cold day. 

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Pinto beans are another bean that is pretty versatile. My family tends to like pinto beans in five bean soup, southwestern soups or when I make chili. 

Both can develop rich flavors when you include your favorite spices. I find that my best Dutch oven recipes come from variations of a classic recipe. 

What Kind of Soup Can You Make In a Dutch Oven

Two of the absolute easiest recipes are bean soups and Dutch oven chicken noodle soup. For example, you can pick a classic chicken noodle soup recipe and jazz it up a bit by adding coconut milk, an ingredient that you would not typically use to make a creamy chicken noodle soup.  

The best thing about homemade chicken soup or any easy Dutch oven stew is that you can add whatever you want!  In a cast-iron Dutch oven, the cooking process is basically the same for bean soup, chicken soup recipes, French onion soup, vegetarian soup, vegan recipes or a Dutch oven beef stew!

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This Rustic Soup Is Easy and Affordable

Our new normal has nudged us to have a budget meal to feed the whole family for a reasonable amount of money. Throwing all of your leftovers in a pot for a one-pot meal or Dutch oven soup recipes are a great way to make a meal using simple ingredients that will have great flavor.

So grab your Le Creuset Dutch oven (or whatever you have) and let’s get started in making some hearty dishes!

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Using a cast iron Dutch oven or a slow cooker to make your family’s favorite hearty soup or comfort food is the best part of the season! 

This recipe is so simple that you are going to ask yourself why you haven’t made the soup sooner! It is such an easy recipe that the foundation of this recipe is going to be one of your new favorites!

It really does not take a long time to prepare.  Once you get the items in the pot, your work in done!

all ingredients for bean soup, stock, beans, spices, ham and ham hockPin

Dried Beans Or Canned Beans?

For this recipe, I’m using dried navy beans, some spices that I had in my pantry along with a ham hock that I had stored in my freezer. You are welcomed to use canned beans or fresh herbs if this is what you have on hand.

The only thing I bought for this recipe was a quarter of a ham that was sliced.

Grab a couple tablespoons of olive oil throw it in the pot chop up an onion chop of that him up and throw it in the pot to soften the onions and get a little crispness on those pieces of ham.

Once you’re finished with that, go ahead and throw those beans in! After you throw the beans in, you’re going to pour in your chicken stock or your bone broth.

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Both are delicious! I find that homemade chicken broth is the best. When you make your own, you can control what goes in it!

Low sodium -soups are a priority for me so I tend to make a lot of easy Dutch oven recipes. Whatever broth you choose, make sure it is a flavorful broth. Use whichever you like the best.

To soak or not to soak?

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You really don’t need to soak your beans. Yes, your grandma probably said soak the beans but you don’t have to soak them. The beans will cook faster if you soak them.

One of the things that I love about making soups in the Dutch oven is that you can pretty much use whatever ingredients you have on hand. If you have leftover vegetables and some chicken stock, vegetable stock or whatever stock you have, you can make a soup!

We always tend to have some type of fresh vegetable in the fridge. You can also add in pasta and go crazy with any additions to the soup. I like to take my leftover meats and sauté them in the Dutch oven with the veggies to soften them up a bit with a little bit of olive oil salt and pepper then add stock and let the Dutch oven do its magic! 

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  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or enough to cover the bottom of the pot
  • 4 cloves garlic OR 1TBL of garlic powder
  • 3 cups of dry Great Northern beans or any white bean
  • 3 cups chicken broth OR 3 bouillon cubes and 3 cups of water (you can use beef broth if you prefer)
  • 1 tbl dried parsley OR 2 tbl of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper 
  • 1 ham hock (optional)
  • 1/4 of a ham diced (optional)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to your taste
  • No need to add salt if you use the ham. The stock can have quite a bit of salt in it as well


  • On the stove top at medium heat, heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven.  Once the oil is almost hot, add the onion and ham. Cook until the onions are translucent. Next, turn the heat up to medium-high heat to get a bit of crispness on the ham.  Remember to scrape the bottom of the pan to get that lovely flavor!
beans, ham, onionsPin

Tips To Make The Best Dutch Oven Soup Ever

Pro Tip – You can use chicken breasts, leftover rotisserie chicken, chicken thighs or any leftover chicken in the place of the ham. Any meat OR vegetable will do.

Make sure the vegetable that you choose is a hearty vegetable that will not get mushy in the soup.  If it is a softer veggie, add it near the end of the cook time.

You could even add ground beef, hot Italian sausage or sweet Italian sausages or whatever vegetables you have on hand. Bell peppers would be delicious!

Add a parmesan cheese rind to the cooking process of the soup.  You can also top the soup with a dollop of sour cream and red pepper flakes!

beans, ham, onions ham hockPin
  • Add the garlic, dry beans, ham hock, pepper, any spices of your choice. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, put the lid on and simmer for two hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. 
  • If you would like a thicker soup, smash the beans against the side of the pot. You can also use an immersion blender. This will thicken the soup a bit.

Grab yourself some rustic cornbread crusty bread and a blanket and have a comfy and rustic dinner on a cold night!  This will be a favorite among your hearty dishes or a go to soup for special occasions.

cooked bean soup with immersion blenderPin

This bean soup will last about 3-4 days in an airtight container.  It is also a good frozen soup. 

A great variation to this bean soup is to freeze it. Then to your frozen leftovers, add heavy cream, unsalted butter and a 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. You will love it!

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