Navy Bean and Ham Soup made easy with canned beans, ham hocks, carrots, celery, dried rosemary and thyme, and a little bacon for flavor. It’s the best!
If you’ve been saving a ham bone since Thanksgiving, now’s the time to pull it out and make this hearty soup with navy beans.
This is one of my favorite cold weather soups because it sticks to your ribs and warms you from the inside. The saltiness from the ham, combined with the creaminess of the beans and a slight touch of sweet carrot makes for a wonderful soup to share with friends or just have at home for family.
Navy Bean and Ham Soup
This soup is fairly easy to make and takes about an hour to cook, unless you’re using dried beans, in which case you need to account for the time you have to soak the beans. I usually just use canned beans but either works fine.
If you don’t have a ham bone lurking about in your freezer, then you can buy a couple of ham hocks at the grocery store or your local butcher. I also add one of those little packs of diced ham unless I just happen to have leftover ham in the freezer.
We like good old-fashioned cornbread with this soup—well, I do, David just likes Jiffy Mix cornbread—but some nice crusty bread would be great as well.
And I don’t usually serve anything else. This soup is so hearty, it’s a complete meal.
Navy Bean and Ham Soup
Navy Bean and Ham Soup made easy with canned beans, ham hocks, carrots, celery, dried rosemary and thyme, and a little bacon for flavor.
- 4 cans navy beans, rinsed and drained (unsalted if you can find them)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2-2 quarts chicken stock
- 2 large smoked ham hocks or 1 ham bone
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup diced cooked ham (I buy the packet of diced ham in the meat dept. unless I have ham saved)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6-8 bacon strips, cooked crispy and crumbled
In large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery and saute for five minutes. Add garlic and saute for thirty seconds.
Add 1 and 1/2 quarts chicken stock, beans, ham hocks, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and diced ham. Add a little freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You may need to add additional stock.
Remove ham hocks or ham bone and allow to cool enough to handle, then cut the meat off the bones and add to the pot along with the cup of diced ham. Discard the bones.
If you want to thicken the soup, remove about 2 cups of beans and puree in a blender then add back to the soup.
Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper. The ham is usually salty so I don't add much salt until I taste the soup. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.
**You can substitute one pound bag of dried navy beans for the canned beans. You'll need to soak the beans per package instructions.