Friday, August 8, 2008

Navy Bean Soup ala Leah - Learn to Make Authentic Navy Bean Soup like Grandma Used to do

Now who doesn't recall growing up with bean soup?!? It was a favorite of mine of those people who put soup in those red and white cans. This is my mom's version that I have tweaked making it affordable and yet another reason not to throw out that ham bone just yet. For extra fun add sliced hot dogs for those kids in your family - you can easily substitute lentils, dried back or pea beans for this amazing hearty meal.

And yes, yet another recipe to make with a left over ham bone.


  • Prep Time does not include soaking dried beans overnight. Please note.
  • This may be a big list of ingredients, but it really adds to the overall complexity of savory taste of real authentic bean soup.
  • I also show how to avoid soaking beans overnight in the directions if you are in a hurry....
  • 1 bag of dried navy beans
  • 2-1/2 quarts of water
  • 1/3 cup diced salt pork or bacon (I prefer bacon - use 5 or so slices)
  • 3/4 cup finely diced carrots - 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion diced finely
  • 3/4 cup celery diced finely - 2 stalks
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste (the small can)
  • 1 cup potato - diced finely, 1 large potato
  • 2 garlic cloves minced finely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 leftover ham bone or shank
  • 4 hot dogs sliced (optional - but oh so good and homey)
  • stock pot with lid


  1. I will try and keep the how to short, but it is worth every step. This recipe will do great on a Saturday or Sunday and when you need to feed dinner with only a few funds...its super delicious, and as mentioned in the description, you may substitute the navy beans for black bean, lentils or even pea beans.
  2. Take large soup pot and put water in half way.
  3. Rinse beans, looking for any pebbles or icky things that shouldn't be there.
  4. Add rinsed beans to pot and let sit on counter over night or at least 10 hours. Change water at least once.
  5. In A HURRY? After soaking for 30 minutes, drain water, and add enough water to cover beans plus 2 added cups water and let simmer for 3 hours.
  6. Proceed as directed without adding additional water.
  7. ***Back to normal directions***
  8. In morning, or after 10 hours, rinse beans completely and set aside for the moment.
  9. To stock pot, add a little drizzle of olive oil, add salt pork or bacon and cook for at least 5 minutes.
  10. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to pot and sweat till soft NOT brown for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add navy beans to pot, all remaining ingredients (except for hot dogs) including 2-1/2 quarts water and let come to a boil.
  12. Turn down and let simmer for 2 hours.
  13. Remove ham bone and bay leaves.
  14. Add sliced hot dogs to pot and simmer for additional 10 minutes and serve it up in large soup bowls.
  15. Add freshly minced chives or parsley for added garnish.
  16. Photo I grabbed from


noble pig said...

As a child I was obsessed with this soup, I loved but have never found a good enough recipe. I'll have to give this one a whirl!

Nui Nui said...

I linked to your Dinner and Jam Blog from reading your article on cilantro.

I just want to say, I went through the same thing with cilantro...I am an American Chinese, first generation. As a kid, I used to spit out the cilantro and I hated when my mom put it in food. Then snap!! As I entered my 30's, I had it first in salsa and then I have been craving it more and more and more. I think I eat a hand full of cilantro at least twice a day in my meals. I am in the U.S. Army stationed overseas, and the Department of Defense puts these little baskets of cilantro (40g) for $2.00!! I don't care, I am so addicted, I probably go through at least 3 baskets a week.

Recently, I just had a 5 year physical...WHO would have guessed. I can only attribute this to the cilantro. My whole family has had high cholestrol for two generations. But my blood test results shocked the doctor. He said, "52/78...that's remarkable!!"

So it caused me to think about what do I eat the most (which is cilantro) and then I started researching articles about cilantro and found yours! Just thought I'd share that with you!!