This navy bean soup is a simple soup made with diced ham or a leftover ham bone and dried navy beans. It's hearty enough to serve as a lunch or supper soup, and it couldn't be easier to fix. Use the ham bone and diced ham from a baked ham dinner. The soup is not only easy, it's budget-friendly!
Serve this bean soup with cornbread, cornbread muffins, or corn sticks. Freshly baked biscuits or crusty rolls would be excellent as well.
If you prefer using a slow cooker for bean soup, take a look at this crock pot navy bean and ham soup.
- 1 pound dried navy beans
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 2 large ham hocks or a meaty ham bone
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chopped leftover ham (or to taste; or ham from the meaty bone)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Wash the navy beans and pick them over. Discard any damaged or malformed beans and look for small stones. Pour the beans into a large bowl or pot and add 2 quarts of boiling water. Let beans soak for a 2 to 4 hours.*
- In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, simmer the ham bone or ham hocks with the beans (and their soaking water) until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove bones and chop ham. Discard the bones and fat and return the chopped ham to the pot.
- Add the chopped onions, celery, and bay leaves to the pot.
- Add enough water or vegetable stock to make about 1 gallon. Add the ham meat back to the pot. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper, as needed. Cook about 30 minutes to 1 hour longer.
*If you prefer to soak your beans overnight, there's no need to boil the water first. Just put them in a bowl with 2 quarts of water and leave at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. Or, for another quick method, put the beans in a large pot, cover with the 2 quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let them soak in the hot water for 2 to 4 hours.
- Add about 1 cup of diced carrots to the soup along with the onions and celery.
- Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the soup with the vegetables.