Navy Bean and Ham Soup

 Navy Bean Soup is a great way to use up a meaty ham bone. If you don’t have one, most meat departments have them for sale. If you can find them, ham shanks are better than ham hocks. More meat and less fat. Save your ham bone from the ham you had and freeze it till you are ready to make soup. If you had glazed your ham, it works even better adding another layer of flavor to your soup.
 When I was making bean soup for supper I realized we did not have a recipe on the blog for it, though Sue has directions for canning bean soup. I do not have a recipe exactly as I vary it according to what vegetables I have on hand but here are the basic directions and amounts for Navy Bean Soup. You can substitute great northerns if you wish. The dried beans are easy to use and will give you a better soup than the canned jars you can buy at the grocery store. Also they are inexpensive and make a good meal for pennies.
Navy Bean Soup
16 ounces dry navy beans
2 quarts of water
1 meaty ham bone
6 cups good chicken stock
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt (taste before adding as ham is salty)
½ teaspoon black pepper or 6 black peppercorns
1 medium onion
2 stalks diced celery (some recipes add carrots, however I do not)
Leaves of 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (opt)
  Pick over dry beans, discarding any bad beans or grit or stones. Wash in cold water till water is clean. Bring beans to a boil, cook 2 minutes then cover and allow to set for one hour.* I drain at this point as I then add chicken stock, about 6 cups and 2 cups of water, ham bone, onion, celery, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer about 1 ½ hour to 2 hours, older beans will take a little longer) until tender, about one half hour before soup is done add the thyme leaves. Dried thyme can go in when you start the soup. Remove ham bone, cut off any meat, return to soup and reheat just till ham is hot again. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with additional, chopped onions if desired and of course cornbread.
*You can also soak overnight in 6 to 8 cups of cold water.  


  1. Hi there! Have you seen a recipe from Farm Journal for a navy bean soup that you make condensed, freeze and add water when you heat it. I thought it was in my FJ Timesaving Country cookbook, but it wasnt! It's been a while since I made it, so I guess my memory isn't what it used to be. Thanks! Linda

    1. Its called "Country Bean Soup" and it's on page 150 of the Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cookbook from 1963,1964.
      It certainly looks like a good idea but I've never even noticed it before!

    2. thanks so much!! I used to make it for my son at college; add water and heat. Better than Ramen noodles ;-)


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