Easy Recipes
Ingredient Spotlight

Navy Bean Soup

Warm your soul with a bowl of comforting navy bean soup, enriched with the smoky flavor of ham shank. This wholesome recipe is perfect for chilly days or whenever you crave a nourishing meal. Follow these simple steps to create a satisfying dish that will surely become a family favorite.


  • 16 ounces Navy Beans
  • 1 pound Smoked Ham Shank, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Celery Ribs, diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Prepare the Navy Beans:
    • Pick through the beans to remove any foreign objects and rinse them under cold water in a colander.
    • Choose either the overnight method: soaking beans in water overnight, or the quick soak method: boiling beans for 2 minutes then soaking for an hour. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Prepare the Smoked Ham Shank:
    • Rinse the ham shank under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Make the Navy Bean Soup:
    • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Stir in garlic, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
    • Add smoked ham shank, navy beans, chicken broth, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 60 minutes.
    • Remove ham shank, shred the meat, discard bones and fatty pieces, then return meat to the pot.
    • Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Add salt to taste.
    • Remove bay leaf before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I use other types of beans for this soup?
    • Yes, you can substitute navy beans with Great Northern beans or cannellini beans for similar results.
  2. Can I make this soup vegetarian?
    • Absolutely, you can omit the smoked ham shank and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian version.
  3. How can I store leftovers?
    • Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or freeze it for longer storage.
  4. Can I add other vegetables to this soup?
    • Certainly, feel free to add your favorite vegetables like spinach, kale, or potatoes for added flavor and nutrients.
  5. Can I use a slow cooker for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can cook this soup in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. What can I serve with navy bean soup?
    • Serve it with crusty bread, cornbread, or a side salad for a complete meal.
  7. Can I use smoked turkey instead of ham shank?
    • Yes, smoked turkey can be used as a tasty alternative to ham shank in this recipe.
  8. How do I adjust the seasoning to my taste?
    • Taste the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt, pepper, or herbs as desired.

Helpful Tips:

  1. For a richer flavor, sauté the vegetables in the pot until they are caramelized before adding the broth and beans.
  2. If you prefer a thicker soup, mash some of the cooked beans with a spoon or blend a portion of the soup before adding the shredded ham.
  3. To enhance the smoky flavor, you can add a few drops of liquid smoke to the soup.
  4. Experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor profile of the soup according to your preferences.

Enjoy the comforting goodness of this hearty navy bean soup, perfect for cozy family dinners or gatherings with friends. With its simple preparation and rich flavors, it’s sure to become a go-to recipe in your kitchen repertoire.

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