Navy Beans Recipe: Easy and Delicious Soup

Get ready for soup season! I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of comforting bowls filled with hearty beans. One standout in my lineup is the navy bean soup—a delicious creation simmered slowly with a smoky ham hock.

To add a creamy touch to your soup, you have a few options. You can mash some of the beans right in the pot using a potato masher or fork. Alternatively, scoop out a small portion, blend it in a blender, and then return the creamy mixture to simmer a bit longer. And, if you have an immersion or hand blender, a few gentle swirls in the pot will do the trick.

Our Navy Beans Recipe is the epitome of comfort food. Tender white beans mingle with ham, aromatic veggies, cherry tomatoes, and a medley of herbs, resulting in a bowl bursting with flavor. Whether you opt for the convenience of canned beans or prefer the traditional route with dried ones, our straightforward recipe will surely make you appreciate the humble legume in a whole new way. It’s a quick and easy path to a satisfying bowl of navy bean goodness.

How to Cook Navy Beans Recipe?

How to Cook Navy Beans Recipe

his navy bean soup is a hearty dish that serves 6 to 8 people. Here’s a simple recipe with easy-to-follow instructions:

Start by rinsing 1 pound of dried navy beans, discarding any split or discolored beans. Place the beans in a large pot with 4 cups of hot water. Bring it to a boil, let it boil for 2 minutes, then cover and let it soak for 1 hour.

While the beans soak, finely chop 1 medium yellow onion, 1 large carrot, 1 celery stalk, and 2 garlic cloves. Dice 8 ounces of thick-cut cooked ham. After soaking, drain the beans and wipe the pot clean.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pot. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery, cooking until they start to soften. Then, add the ham, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, kosher salt, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Sauté for about 1 minute.

Combine the beans with the mixture. Optionally, add a smoked ham hock and 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes until the beans are tender. Remove the ham hock, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and season with more kosher salt if needed.

Notes: The ham hock adds smokiness; cut away any meat to stir into the soup. For make-ahead, soak the beans overnight. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Enjoy this delicious and comforting navy bean soup!

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Easy Navy Bean Soup Recipe

A soul-warming American classic, this Navy Bean Soup features tender beans, savory ham, and aromatic herbs in a comforting broth—a delicious main course perfect for chilly days. Simple to make with everyday kitchen tools, it's a flavorful bowl of comfort that everyone can enjoy.
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: best Navy Bean recipe, easy Navy Bean recipe, Hearty Navy Bean Soup, how to make Navy Bean recipe, Navy Bean recipe, Navy Bean Soup
Yield: 8
Author: Austin Carter

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Colander
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Stirring Utensil
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups

Materials

  • 4 cup Hot Water
  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 8 ounces Hick-Cut Cooked Ham
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 6 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

Instructions

  • Rinse 1 pound of dried navy beans, discarding any split, broken, or discolored beans. Place the beans and 4 cups of hot water in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let soak for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, finely chop 1 medium yellow onion (1 1/2 to 2 cups), 1 large carrot (1/2 cup), and 1 medium celery stalk (1/2 cup). Finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Dice 8 ounces of thick-cut cooked ham (1 cup).
  • After soaking, drain the beans in a colander and wipe the pot clean.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and beginning to soften (about 3 minutes). Add the ham, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, kosher salt, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  • Add the drained beans and stir to combine. If desired, nestle 1 smoked ham hock into the bean mixture. Add 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender (1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes).
  • Remove the ham hock. Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and stir until melted. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Notes

  • The ham hock adds a subtle smokiness to the soup. If using, cut away any meat from the bone after simmering and stir it into the soup.
  • To soak the beans overnight, rinse the beans and discard any broken or discolored pieces. Place in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, then add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight, and continue with Step 2 the next day, skipping the quick boil.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. To freeze navy bean soup, let the soup cool completely, then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight before reheating on the stovetop.
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long to Cook Navy Beans?

To cook navy beans, it usually takes around 6 to 8 hours if you’re using a slow cooker. Alternatively, if you’re cooking them on the stovetop, it will take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Why Are Navy Beans Called Navy Beans?

Navy beans are small, oval-shaped beans with white skin and a gentle taste. The reason they are called navy beans is because they were part of the diet for the U.S. Navy in the second half of the 19th century.

How to Soak Navy Beans?

For the traditional soaking method, cover the beans with water, making sure it’s 2 inches above them. Add 2 tablespoons of coarse kosher salt (or 1 tablespoon of fine salt) for each pound of beans. Let them soak for at least 4 hours, and you can leave them for up to 12 hours. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans before using.

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