navy bean soup

I have been on a soup kick ever since the cold has hit us this winter. This was, I believe, the third soup recipw I made in a week.  And it was just down-home-goodness in a bowl.  Navy Bean Soup is a memory from growing up as a child at dining at a local place I ate at in Michigan called Bill Knapp’s. They had delicious Navy Bean Soup.

First off, and there is no way around this part – you have to soak your beans.  Overnight is easy – just toss them into a pot of cold water and let them set.  if you don’t soak your beans, you’ll end up with split tough beans and that would be a total bummer.

But I did the cheater method.  I tossed mine into a large pot of water, brought it to a boil, turned it off and let it set for 2-3 hours.  Then I went ahead and brought them to a low simmer with a one-pound package of pre-cut ham chunks (or use a hamhock!), one onion chopped, 3 carrots, chopped, 2 stalks of celery chopped and 2 cloves of smashed garlic.  I cracked in some black pepper and let this all simmer together until the beans were fork tender (about 45 minutes to an hour).

Then (for a healthy means of thickening the soup), I removed half of the whole thing into the food processor and blended it until smooth.  I also drizzled in about 1/2 cup of olive oil as well.  It just adds some amazing depth of flavor.  You can leave it out if you like.

It’ll still be delicious.

Then I poured the pureed half of the soup back into the pot with the rest of the still-chunky soup.

And that was it.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

And that’s it…delicious navy bean soup packed full of the flavor of ham.

Sooooo good on these cold winter days and nights.  And very inexpensive to make as well!

Navy Bean Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 10
  • 1 bag navy beans, sorted and picked clean
  • 1 pound bag chopped ham or one hamhock
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 carrots, chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ pepper
  • ½ c. olive oil (optional)
  1. Soak beans in large pot of salted water overnight or bring to boil and turn off and let set at least 4 hours. Add remaining ingredients and bring pot of water to boil, then turn down to a low simmer and simmer until beans are fork tender, about 40 minutes. Remove half of the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in ½ c. of olive oil. Pour back into soup. Serve!


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