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Navy Bean Soup Recipe

This Navy Bean Soup Recipe is a classic comfort dish that warms the soul with its rich and hearty flavors. It is a hearty soup mixes navy beans, savory ham, and an assortment of aromatic herbs and vegetables. Whether you have leftover holiday ham to use or you are looking for a warming dinner or lunch that you can enjoy all week and freeze for later, this is the soup for you!

Navy Bean Soup Recipe with a spoon and napkin

NAVY BEAN SOUP RECIPE

The colder months are upon us and nothing warms me up like this Navy Bean Soup Recipe.

There is something so good about a hearty soup served alongside crusty bread to soak up all the juices of the delicious broth. 

If you have leftover ham from the holidays this is a great way to use it and will save you time. My family typically makes ham for Easter and Christmas so this is often a soup I make the day after with a ham bone or leftover ham. 

When I make this soup I like to make a big batch and freeze half for later. This soup also makes great leftovers throughout the week and tastes even better the next day.

There are directions on how to make this soup on the stove-top as well as in the crockpot

If you make it in the crockpot you can use dried beans and just add extra water. If you want to use dried beans on the stove top you will want to soak the beans overnight. 

When it comes to soups bean soups are among my favorite. I find them fill me up and give me energy on those cold days. 

A few bean soups I like to rotate with this Navy Bean Soup Recipe is this Tuscan Bean Soup, White Bean Soup with Ham, Slow Cooker Sausage Kale White Bean Soup or this White Bean Soup.

If you are looking for an Instant Pot Bean Soup recipe try this one here. 

Navy Bean Soup Recipe with dutch oven

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WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS NAVY BEAN HAM SOUP:

Easy to make: Hands on prep time is minimal with this soup. You just sauté a few vegetables, add the remaining ingredients to the pot then let the soup simmer and bubble on the stove. It is even easier if you have leftover ham you can use from the holidays! 

Packed with flavor: This flavor packed soup is full of beans, ham, fresh vegetables and lots of fresh herbs. You will love how the flavors work together to create a comforting soup. 

Healthy bowl of soup: This is a filling and substantial bowl of soup and makes a well balanced and healthy one pot dinner. This meal is packed with protein and will keep you feeling satisfied.  It is a recipe the whole family will love. 

Double the recipe: As this soup freezes really well I often make a double batch, enjoying some now and saving the rest for a quick and easy dinner another night. 

Navy Bean Soup Recipe ingredients

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN NAVY BEAN HAM SOUP?

  • VEGETABLES: I use a combination of fresh garlic, sweet onion, carrot and celery to form the base flavors for the soup.
  • SEASONING: A combination of dried oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes), salt and black pepper flavor the soup. The bay leaf also added flavor to the soup.
  • BEANS: I use 3 – 16-ounce canned beans {navy beans} in this soup or 16 ounces of dried beans. If you want to use dry beans you will want to soak them before using them in this recipe unless you use the crockpot
  • HAM: I use a combination of both diced cooked ham and a smoked ham shank or ham bone to add depth of flavor to the soup. You can use a meaty leftover ham bone from the holidays or even buy already cooked ham at the store to cut down on time. You can find cooked ham that is sold already packaged at the grocery store. Look for it in the meat department.
  • TOMATOES: Along with the chicken broth I like to add some canned diced or petite tomatoes to this soup. If you don’t like tomatoes you can leave this out. 
  • CHICKEN BROTH: Low sodium chicken broth or chicken stock flavors the soup, you could replace with vegetable broth. You also could try making my Homemade Chicken Broth
  • FRESH HERBS: I add fresh oregano, thyme and parsley to garnish the soup. I suggest not skipping fresh herbs if you can help it but if you don’t have them then you can use dried to add some last minute flavor. 
  • CHEESE: I like to serve this soup with a garnish of fresh Parmesan cheese.
Navy Bean Soup Recipe soup in a ladle

HOW TO MAKE NAVY BEAN HAM SOUP?

This soup is easy to make on the stove top. 

SOAK THE BEANS: If you are using dried beans soak them overnight. 

SAUTE THE VEGETABLES: In a large dutch oven or large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and saute for two minutes. Now add the onion, carrot and celery and saute for 3 minutes.

Navy Bean Soup Recipe vegetables sautéing in a pot

ADD THE SEASONING: Add the oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cayenne red pepper, salt and pepper and continue sauteing for 4-5 minutes, letting the spices bloom.

Navy Bean Soup Recipe spices in the pot

NOW ADD THE BEANS AND HAM: Add the navy beans, diced ham, ham hock, diced tomatoes, bay leaves and broth.

Stir well.

Navy Bean Soup Recipe tomatoes and ham in the pot

COOK THE SOUP: Bring to a simmer and turn to low heat. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

Remove any pieces of ham from the ham bone and add to the soup and remove and discard the bone.

TO SERVE: Serve the soup with fresh parsley, oregano and thyme along with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Navy Bean Soup Recipe with a spoon in a white bowl

HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER NAVY BEAN SOUP 

This recipe can be easily modified if you prefer to cook this slow cooker navy bean soup. 

Use a large skillet to sauté the vegetables, then add all the seasoning ingredients and allow the spices to bloom. You can also skip this step and just add everything into the crockpot to cook but I like the help the spices bloom with the vegetables. 

Add the remaining soup ingredients to the crock pot, cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.

Remove any pieces of ham from the ham bone and add back into the soup, discard the bone. 

Serve the soup warm with a garnish of fresh herbs and Parmesan Cheese.

TIP: If you use a crockpot you can use dried navy beans which I find to have more flavor than the canned navy beans. Since you are cooking them in the crockpot you don’t need to soak them overnight just make sure to add 2 cups of water for the beans to soak up. 

Navy Bean Soup Recipe two bowls of soup

WAYS TO MODIFY NAVY BEAN HAM SOUP

VEGETABLES: Feel free to add extra vegetables to this easy soup recipe. I love adding green beans, peas, bell pepper or fire roasted tomatoes to this soup. If you have frozen vegetables in your freezer those work great too. 

LEAFY GREENS: Add a handful of spinach, kale, cavolo nero (black kale), chard or other similar greens to the soup towards the end of the cook and allow to wilt.

HAM: Along with the cooked ham, I’ve added a smoked ham hock. If you wish you could also use a ham bone or even some smoked bacon for flavor. 

PROTEIN: If ham ins’t your favorite try using a different protein like shredded chicken, ground turkey, ground pork or ground chicken. 

BEANS: Swap navy beans for another white bean like Great Northern beans, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans or cannellini beans. You also could add a mixture of beans to the soup. Sometimes I will use a can of white beans, navy beans and pinto beans to mix things up! 

DRIED BEANS: Canned navy beans are a great time saver, but you can use dried beans, you will just need to soak them overnight first if you are cooking them on the stove-top. For the crockpot version see above on how to use dried beans in the crockpot

FRESH HERBS: I’ve added fresh herbs to garnish the soup, but you could also stir some fresh herbs like thyme, parsley or oregano, through the soup while it’s cooking.

Navy Bean Soup Recipe in a white bowl

TIPS AND NOTES FOR NAVY BEAN HAM SOUP

LEFTOVER HAM: This is a great recipe for using up leftover ham from the weekend’s roast. If you are making a holiday ham like this Apple Cider Glazed Ham you can use the leftovers from that for the soup. 

SEASONING: Always take time to taste the soup and check for seasoning. Once the soup has cooked, add more salt and black pepper if required. 

SPICY & SMOKY FLAVOR: You can add smoked paprika or chili poweder for a smoky flavor. If you want some spice you can use cayenne red pepper, jalapeños or hot sauce. 

THICKER SOUP: For a thicker soup you can remove a cup of the cooked beans from the soup and blend to a smooth puree using a stick blender. Then return the pureed beans to the soup and stir through.

VEGETARIAN: If you want a vegetarian bean soup just leave out the ham and use vegetable broth. 

LEFTOVERS: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat the leftover soup, place back into a pot and warm up until piping hot. Alternatively warm the soup up in the microwave to 2 minutes.

STORAGE: Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze the soup for up to 3 months.

Navy Bean Soup Recipe with spoon

WHAT TO SERVE WITH NAVY BEAN SOUP

I like to serve this soup with crusty bread to soak up all of those delicious juices in the soup. I also like serving Homemade Pita Chips or Air Fryer Pita Chips on the side. 

Salads are a nice addition to a hearty soup. I like to serve this Lemon Arugula Salad with Parmesan Cheese, Apple Kale Quinoa Salad or this Arugula Salad with Capers.

Adding a side of vegetables is always nice with this navy bean ham soup. Try these Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables, Balsamic Roasted Carrots or Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms

Navy Bean Soup Recipe with logo

OTHER SOUP RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

SPICY CHICKEN SOUP

CHICKEN LEMON ORZO SOUP

VEGETABLE SOUP WITH CABBAGE

VEGAN PINTO BEAN SOUP

POTATO LEEK SOUP

MOROCCAN RED LENTIL SOUP 

Navy Bean Soup Recipe with a spoon and napkin

Navy Bean Soup Recipe

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Navy Bean Soup Recipe is a classic comfort dish that warms the soul with its rich and hearty flavors. This hearty soup mixes navy beans, savory ham, and an assortment of aromatic herbs and vegetables. Whether you have leftover holiday ham to use or you are looking for a warming dinner or lunch that you can enjoy all week and freeze for later, this is the soup for you!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small, sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne red pepper or crushed red pepper flakes {optional}
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 - 16-ounce cans Navy Beans {or sub Great Northern Beans} drained and rinsed or dried beans
  • 8 oz. cooked ham, diced
  • 1 smoked ham hock or ham bone (optional)
  • 1 - 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes or petite tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • Fresh parsley, oregano and thyme for garnish
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak the navy beans overnight if you are using dried beans. If using canned beans skip this step.
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for two minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cayenne red pepper, salt and pepper and continue sauteing for 4-5 minutes, letting the spices bloom.
  4. Add the navy beans, diced ham, ham hock, diced tomatoes, bay leaves and broth. Stir well.
  5. Bring to a simmer and turn to low heat. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Remove any pieces of ham from the ham bone and add to the soup and remove and discard the bone.
  6. Serve the soup with fresh parsley, oregano and thyme along with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

DRIED BEANS: Canned navy beans are a great time saver, but you can use dried beans, you will just need to soak them overnight first if you are cooking them on the stove-top. For the crockpot version see above on how to use dried beans in the crockpot.

HAM: I use a combination of both diced cooked ham and a smoked ham shank or ham bone to add depth of flavor to the soup. You can use a meaty leftover ham bone from the holidays or even buy already cooked ham at the store to cut down on time. You can find cooked ham that is sold already packaged at the grocery store. Look for it in the meat department.

LEFTOVERS: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat the leftover soup, place back into a pot and warm up until piping hot. Alternatively warm the soup up in the microwave to 2 minutes.

STORAGE: Once the soup is cooled store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze the soup for up to 3 months.

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