September 17, 2008

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

The weather here in Pennsylvania has slowly been getting cooler and everyday it feels a little more like Autumn. Football season has started, the leaves will soon begin changing. This time of year always makes me crave hearty belly warming foods... like soups and stews. The kinds of meals that simmer all day on the stove and fill your home with mouthwatering scents and the promises of the wonderful meal to come.

1 pound of navy beans
3 quarts of vegetable stock or water (I *really* suggest using stock)
2 pounds of ham shanks
1 cup diced onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

To Finish:
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish
Tabasco sauce to taste (optional)


Soak the beans in at least 3 quarts of cold water overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans in clean water before using.

Put the ham shanks in a large pot and cover with stock. Simmer for about an hour. Add the chopped vegetables, beans, garlic, rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, and thyme. Simmer for 2 hours, or until the beans and vegetables are to your desired softness.

Remove the shanks from the soup, allow to cool and remove the meat from the bone. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and return to the soup. Reheat the soup on a low flame, if needed.

Add a few drops of Tabasco to taste (this is optional). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chopped fresh parsley.

Note: This soup is even better it made and served the next day after the flavors have a chance to mingle over night in the refrigerator.

Serves 8.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset


  1. Oh I am so looking forward to making soups as the weather cools down. Your soup look so hearty and comforting.

    I'm all for the Tabasco too!

  2. Oh Yum- Im in Pennsylvania also and the change in weather has made me want soup too. I made veggie soup today! I'll have to get busy and make a bean soup- yours looks so good! Thanks~

  3. oh my word...this looks good. I'll be making it soon. I love fall, and ham and beans. :~)

  4. By the way... I tagged you in one of my blogs. I'm sorry. I felt obligated to play..and usually I hate chain letter type of things.
    if you want to look you can check it out at:

  5. Lori Lynn... thanks for the comment :) Mmmm Fall! Love your blog, by the way.

    Susan... Thanks! Nice to seen another blogger from PA here! Vwggie soup is yummy :)

    Debbie... I'll do your tag, I don't mind them at all! I don't know if I'll tag anyone though, not sure if the foodie bloggers would play? Thanks!

  6. I love navy bean and ham soup! I'm sad to see the warm weather go but soup is a nice consolation prize.

  7. Maggie... I agree... I'm kind of sad to see the warn go too, but at the same time, the change in seasons is one of my favorite things! :)

  8. Jo, I know that food bloggers aren't big on the "memes"... so that's okay not to tag anyone. Mine was kind of today, I can think of all kinds of quirky things about myself. :~)

  9. Yum! That makes me yearn for fall. I really like navy bean and ham soup -- I'll try your recipe.

    Your photograph is particularly nice for this one! Thank you!

  10. Yum! It looks wonderful..not quite cool enough here in Phoenix for soup. But why should I let that stop me!

  11. Eugenia... thank you! It was really good, now I want some split pea soup though. Heh.

    Julie... yeah, the next day (when I actually planned to eat the soup) it was 95* here... waaay too hot for soup... but we ate it anyhow and it was good :) Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Oh, you made my day. I'm originally from West Virginia and grew up eating navy bean and ham soup, but haven't been able to duplicate the recipe. This sounds just like what I grew up with.

    I now live in sunny So. Cal. and will look forward to slightly chillier weather so that I can make this.

    I'd love to know which part of Pennsylvania you are from.

  13. Comfort food and winter are calling my name - I cannot wait to make soups when the weather cools and this one is right at the top of the list.

  14. Susan C... thanks for the comment :) I hope this is the soup you grew up with, I know how that is. I am from Waynesboro PA, which is in the south central part of the state, very near the Maryland border.

    Cathy... Thanks for coming by... so nice to meet you!

  15. What lovely photography of a luscious soup. Touting for tooting apres de soup. Frrp.

  16. Miss Havisham... hehe :) thanks for stopping by!

  17. I found you through Soupapalozza and love your soup! Mmmmm, ham and beans. Sounds like a bowl of warm goodness on this very cold day. I pinned it and cant wait to give it a try!

    1. Thanks Susan Lynn! So nice to make your acquaintance!

  18. I really would have like to have tried this recipe but I couldn't find a print version and when I tried to copy and paste it didn't work. Bummer. I have arthritis in my hands and it's too hard to write this all out.

  19. This was delish - Thank you! I did have to puree mine a bit to get the right consistency.

  20. Hope you don't mind, tagged this recipe in my blog, that I was making it.

  21. This is very much the recipe I've used for years, but, with some differences. I add a diced potato, a pinch of cayenne pepper instead of tabasco, and 1/2 to 1 tsp Liquid Smoke and omit s & p. Always better second day. Excellent recipe! Thank you for sharing.


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