When I picked up the library book for this post, it was still cold outside and I really wanted something warm. And, I know it’s starting to warm up already, but I still had to do a soup post. Soups are not just for the cold! Or maybe there will still be a cold day ahead before all the snow is melted for the summer and you can try this recipe out. And if you enjoy soups, this book is the bible of soups. It’s huge! Over 900 recipes huge. Today’s recipe comes from The Ultimate Soup Cookbook by Reader’s Digest.
Navy Bean Soup
3 cups (1 ½ pounds) dry navy beans, sorted and rinsed
1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes, undrained, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 meaty ham hock or 1 cup diced cooked ham
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley
- Place beans in a large bowl overnight with enough cold water to cover and let stand overnight. Drain and place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, then add 2 ½ cups water, tomatoes, onion, ham, stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 ½ hours, adding more water if necessary. Transfer ham hock to a plate.
- When ham hock is cool enough to handle, remove meat, add to pot, and cook until heated through. (For thicker soup, puree beans in a food processor or blender and return to pot before adding meat.) Garnish with parsley.
This soup was so incredibly easy! I forgot to soak the beans overnight, so I put them through the bean setting on my pressure cooker. This doesn’t completely cook them (at least mine doesn’t), so I then threw them in the slow cooker with all the remaining ingredients and let them cook on low all day long (about 6 hours). I didn’t have a ham hock, but I did have a frozen, meaty ham soup bone that had been in my freezer since Christmas and needed to be used. I didn’t even thaw the ham soup bone. I simply threw it in the crockpot with everything else. I also added about 1 cup more of water than was called for in the recipe. I didn’t have chicken stock either so I used 2 cups of prepared chicken bouillon. Because I used the chicken bouillon, I only added about ½ teaspoon of salt. I pulled the ham soup bone out just before serving and shredded the meat using two forks, while discarding the fat, gristle, and bone. I chose not to puree the beans, as I prefer a more hearty texture to my bean soups. Also, I didn’t have any parsley. This soup was so meaty and delicious! It was very satisfying too. Even after one bowl full, I felt perfectly satisfied (that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a little more)! Perfect for feeding hungry people at the end of a busy day!