A Spicy Perspective

Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup

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Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe: A simple, yet utterly tempting, ham and bean soup recipe is a great way to use your leftover holiday ham bone.

Big pot full of soup with a wooden spoon

What To Do With Leftover Hambone

Chances are, after yesterday’s Easter dinner (or any holiday feast) you have a nearly-naked ham bone in your refrigerator at this very moment.

Maybe you even finished off your ham to the point of placing the ham bone in the freezer for future use.

Either way, today I want to show you exactly how to use your leftover ham bone, to make the most of every last bite of flavor your baked ham can offer!

Top view of the pot full topped with some sprigs of thyme leaves

Ham Bone Recipe

Navy bean soup is the food of my childhood. It’s rich, filling, comforting, and can feed a large crowd on a small budget.

Growing up with five kids in our family, and a string of tag-along neighborhood friends, my mom made a lot of meals that could either be stretched to feed extra guests, or could be eaten as leftovers.

Single serving of soup with beans in a red bowl with a handle and a metal spoon sticking out

Our Best Ham and Bean Soup

One of my favorite childhood meals was Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup, i.e. navy bean soup simmered with a leftover ham bone.

My mom (now known as Nana) had a special gift for using her resources wisely. Nothing went to waste, ever.

All leftovers were either eaten or repurposed, even bones.

Red bow in the background of a metal spoon with this soup

Bean Soup (Made With Leftovers)

Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Soup was a meal we ate somewhat regularly, every time a ham graced our table.

Nowadays it seems like we only bake a ham a couple of times a year. Usually around the holidays. Yet as a child, I remember having ham at least once a month.

Maybe because it is a food that is so easily stretched and repurposed?

A pot full of the beans soaking before making this soup

Ham and Bean Soup

But I digress… Adding a ham bone to soup is a marvelous way to create rich flavor, finish off the last scraps of ham left on the bone, and eliminate the need to buy added stock.

A ham bone boiled in water develops a lovely soup base on its own!

Dutch oven with a leftover bone for this ham bone soup

Navy Beans

Although Nana’s Epic Soup recipe, varied from time to time, depending on what veggies and spices she found in the kitchen, I’m sharing the most simplified version with you today.

With just a handful of ingredients, including a ham bone and an inexpensive bag of dried navy beans, you can make a rustic hearty deeply satisfying meal your whole family will love.

PS – If you didn’t have ham for your holiday dinner, you can buy a ham bone from the butcher for next to nothing.

The Ingredients You Will Need

  • Dried Navy Beans – or other small white beans like great northern beans or cannellini beans
  • Ham Bone + Ham Scraps – or a ham hock
  • Olive Oil
  • Large Onion – peeled and chopped
  • Cloves Garlic –Minced
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground Cumin
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Water
  •  Salt and Black Pepper

Sometimes Nana (and I) add 2-3 chopped carrots, and 2-3 chopped celery stalks to the soup for additional veggie goodness. They are not necessary ingredients, but do add a bit of extra color! If using, add the carrots and celery when you add the onions.

Sauteed onions and garlic in the dutch oven

How to Make Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup


Start by soaking dried beans in water overnight to prep them for cooking.

This does take thought to prepare ahead, but it also saves money (on canned beans) reduces sodium and gives the beans a better texture and consistency.

Quick Tip: If you don’t have time to soak your beans overnight, and you own an electric pressure cooker like an Instant Pot, you can pressure cook the beans instead of soaking them to speed things up.

Added beans, spices and herbs to the dutch oven pot

Ham Soup and Beans

Place a large 6-quart pot over medium heat on the stovetop. Next sauté the ham bone, onions, and garlic in a little oil. This browns the leftover ham and softens and sweetens the aromatics.

Then add in the soaked beans, herbs, spices, and water. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes, covered, until the beans are very soft. Uncover and stir occasionally, then place the lid back on top.

Use a fork to pull any remaining ham off the bone and stir it into the soup. Discard the bone. Add 1-2 cups additional water if the soup is too thick. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.

Serve warm. You may even want to pair a jalapeno cheddar cornbread with this hearty soup.

Quick Tip: You can add any additional vegetables, herbs, or spices you like. Or add extra ham scraps you might want to use up.

side view of this Finished recipe in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon

Careful with the Salt

Do not add any salt until the soup is fully cooked.

Hambones have a lot of salt in them, and it’s easy to overdo it if you salt the soup too early. Taste and adjust accordingly.

That’s it!

Next time you buy a ham, make sure to grab a bag of dried beans as well. You won’t be sorry!

See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Easy Ham and Bean Soup. Enjoy!

Ladle full  above a full pot fresh off the stove

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Navy Bean Soup

You can freeze Nana’s Epic Soup in an airtight container or freezer bags for later quickie meals.

Even consider pureeing it into incredible bean dip with a blender to eat with tortilla chips.

Can This Be Made With Canned Beans?

You can use canned beans and it will reduce the cooking time, but honestly, it’s best with dried-soaked beans. It takes about 3 of the 15-ounce cans of beans per 1-pound dried beans. Drain the liquid well to reduce the sodium. You can even rinse the beans to make sure you get as much sodium off as possible. 

Is There A Crockpot Version Of This Recipe?

You can make this recipe in the crock pot… And you do not need to soak the beans ahead of time! Saute the veggies on the stovetop until tender, then add everything to the slow cooker. Set on low for 10-12 hours, or on high for 5-7 hours. Then you can serve your slow cooker ham soup warm. 

Can I Use The Ham Bone More Than Once?

I usually just use a hambone just once. However, I have heard that if there is still meat on the bone and marrow in the center, you can wrap and freeze it for later use. Yet if you’ve “picked the bone dry” in a recipe, throw it out.

What If I Threw My Ham Bone Out? 

You could make this with your leftover ham or you could buy a ham bone (or ham hock) from the grocery store.

Single serving of this recipe with a fabric napkin in the background

More Soup Recipes You Will Love

Check the printable recipe card below for the nutrition information including calories, protein, fiber, and vitamin percentages.

Nana's Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe
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4.99 from 217 votes
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Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe – A simple yet utterly addictive ham and bean soup recipe is a great way to use your leftover holiday ham bone.
Servings: 8



  • The Night Before: Place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with three inches of water. Soak the dried beans overnight (up to 24 hours) to soften. Drain when ready to use.
  • Place a large 6 quart pot over medium heat. Add the oil, ham bone, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften the onions.
  • Then add in the drained beans, thyme, ground cumin, crushed red pepper, 10 cups of water, and any remaining ham scraps. (Do not salt the soup until the end, because ham bones can be very salty.)
  • Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes, covered, until the beans are very soft. Uncover and stir occasionally, then place the lid back on top.
  • Use a fork to pull any remaining ham off the bone and stir it into the soup. Discard the bone. Add 1-2 cups additional water if the soup is too thick. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.



Sometimes Nana (and I) add 2-3 chopped carrots, and 2-3 chopped celery stalks to the soup for additional veggie goodness. They are not necessary, but do add a bit of extra color! If using, add the carrots and celery when you add the onions.


Serving: 1cup, Calories: 218kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 22mg, Potassium: 715mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 108mg, Iron: 3.7mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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316 comments on “Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup”

  1. My (Easter) hambone and dried great northern beans, with all your spices… celery garlic onion carrots cumin thyme red pepper flakes…. It was absolutely delish! Served with jalapeño corn bread. Thanks for your help with your recipe. I’ve made ham and beans many times using my own concoction but you topped mine!!❤️

  2. Pingback: 25 Best Recipes with Dried Beans - Insanely Good

  3. These wa

    This came out just like my mom used to make. So delicious. Haven’t had this soup in about 30 years. 

  4. I have made this recipe dozens of times now, so I should probably write a review.

    It’s delicious. I just use dry Italian seasoning instead of fresh thyme.

  5. It wasn’t my moms bean soup!  But it was delicious!  This will be my go to from now on. I did add a slurry of cornstarch and water because I like my bean soup a bit thicker.  Thanks so much for the recipe 

    Thought I have it a 5!

  6. I just made this soup with leftover ham/ham bones from Christmas. It was excellent!

  7. Making this now. Added carrots, bay leaves, ground mustard in addition to what the recipe called for. It’s smelling delicious. Can’t wait to eat!

  8. Delicious,,,, and very easy

  9. I can’t eat garlic or onion, and this soup was still delicious. Preparing this may become a new holiday tradition as a way to use up the ham hock after Christmas. Thank you!

  10. I start with dry navy beans without soaking them overnight. Add the beans to a stock pot with enough cold water to cover them well and heat to boiling, then reduce heat to a nice simmer and cover. While the beans are getting happy take the smoked pork hock and cut through the rind. Peel the rind off, trim all the fat possible off the hock, and add it to the beans. Then,with a sharp knife edge scrape all the fat off the inside of the rind and add it to the ham and beans. [the rind is where all that great smoky taste comes from] Continue building your version of the ham ‘n bean soup. When the rind and ham hock bone have done their work, remove them and toss away.

  11. I made this today using cans of Navy and Great Northern Beans, veggie broth instead of water. This will be my NEW Bean Soup for the winter months.. EXCELLENT RECIPE! Thank you Sommer for posting Nana’s recipe.


  12. I made this in the crock pot, so easy and so delicious. I would highly recommend for a classic, hearty, filling meal. I literally just put all of the ingredients inside and cooked it on high for five hours and then switched it to low for the last few hours – longer is better. I didn’t soak the beans overnight or sauté my onions and everything came out perfect. I definitely put way more garlic then called for because I’m a huge garlic fan and I also added a baggie full of leftover frozen ham shavings in addition to the ham bone and that really made it hearty and delicious. It was from my honey baked ham so I didn’t add any extra salt it was just perfect. Will be making this every year on Christmas Eve now. So good for the family to snack on for a few days! 

  13. This was fantastic! I’ve made this several times, and did make some personal changes this time. I used 3 different cans of beans that I had on-hand (kidney, navy, and a 3-bean). I also added a can of chicken broth and a can of tomato soup in place of 3 cups of water. Added three carrots and some diced up pork. Sautéed the initial items in my Ninja Foodi for about 10 minutes, then pressure-cooked it all on Med/Hi for 50 minutes. EXCELLENT!!!

  14. Pingback: FOODS FROM THE GREAT DEPRESSION | TULSAGE.wordpress.com

  15. This recipe was amazing! I made it exactly as written other than pureeing some of the beans to thicken it up. Next time I think I might bloom the spices when sauteing the onions! Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  16. I am so happy to see this beautiful old-fashion recipe! It took me back to my childhood growing up in Seattle with wet and cold weather conditions when this soup brought immediate gratification and comfort. Now I live in Calif. and haven’t thought about making a hearty ham and bean soup until NOW. Thank You! This is very economical and nutritious…perfect for today’s times!

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  18. Excellent! I used Great Northern beans and 8 cups of low sodium chicken stock and the salt content and flavor was perfect!  I added maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper- not too hot, just enough to not be over powering. This one’s a keeper.

    • If crushed red pepper is too much, try Aleppo pepper (I get mine from Spice House). They impart a lesser heat and also a nice fruity undertone. I’ve given up red pepper flakes and exclusively use Aleppo now, even on pizza!

  19. Per the recipe, soup was like water.  I suggest blending 3/4 of the beans to make it somewhat thick…I also added flour bc it was so thin.  Just water doesn’t have enough flavor; I used chicken broth and it was better.  Not my favorite.

  20. Just made this! My beans are dry and soup isn’t thick. Did I do something wrong? The taste is great though. I was going to give this 4 stars but I can’t not knowing if I did something. Maybe not cooked long enough? I simmered it for 1-1/2 hrs

  21. Have made this receipe many times as it is my go to favorite…..I add fresh minced carrots and celery to give it a little  more depth of flavor—but it is still excellent without!!   Just before serving, I like to add a little corn starch to thicken so lightly and give the liquid a more “milky” texture….(this will happen naturally depending upon how long you store it before eating)……love this soup.!

  22. Pingback: Top 9 How To Cook Navy Beans

  23. This is the first recipe that I came across for this soup. I’d have to say that’s going to be the last recipe that ai look for. I made this the first time and fell in love. To my surprise, my fiance was a huge fan as well and he isn’t on that cares much for any bean. Tonight, I’m making this soup again because we can’t get enough of it’s delicious taste. It’s so hearty, do delicious, and it leaves you satisfied in every way. It’s also super simple to make!

  24. Pingback: 46 Super Frugal Meals Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank  -

  25. Pingback: 12 Easy Leftover Ham Bone Recipes - Delish Sides

  26. I made this recipe with a honey baked ham bone yesterday. It was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I will definitely put this down as one of my favorites!! 

  27. Pingback: Best Leftover Ham Bone Recipes - Delish Sides

  28. This soup is SO GOOD. I stumbled across it when I was looking for something to do with the ham bone from our Christmas ham, and we immediately fell in love with it. We have had it several times since Christmas (we’re making it again tonight!), and it has knocked our socks off each time. Absolutely delicious, it’s quickly become a real family favorite.

  29. Pingback: 12 Popular Navy Bean Recipes - IzzyCooking

  30. This is the first time I’ve made a comment and first time I made a spiral ham for Easter. I knew I would find a soup to make with the ham bone that was not split pea, I just can’t get past the color! Then I found this recipe turned out amazing! I soaked the beans overnight sautéed the ham bone garlic onion and also threw in celery and carrots. I used fresh thyme rosemary and a bay leaf. Used 3 cans low sodium chicken broth, one of beef broth and the rest water to about 8 oz. I just let it simmer away while doing things then when ready to eat I did take the advice of using my immersion blender to break down the beans making it more creamy. Now I’ll share my secret…several splashes of dry sherry! I didn’t measure just added to my taste. This trick elevated it to restaurant worthy! Voilà! My only regret was saving more ham from the dinner. Next time for sure! 

  31. This is the best ham and bean soup ever! I love that it doesn’t have the traditional celery and carrots so the flavor is soft and unique. Great with crusty sourdough bread. We made it in the Instapot. You don’t even need to presoak the dry beans. Simply put all ingredients in the Instapot, pressure cook 50 minutes, then let naturally release pressure 30 minutes. Perfect soup!

  32. This is my go-to recipe for navy bean soup anytime I have a leftover ham hock. It’s great every time and so easy! Delicious! 

  33. I REALLY want to make this but I’m kicking myself as I completely forgot to save my hambone after we cut the ham off of it! Can I make it with just my leftover ham? And if so, is there anything I should do differently?

  34. This is the second time I made this soup, using ham bone from Easter dinner with quite bit of ham on it along with 2 cups of chopped ham. I used 6 cups of chicken stock (instead 10 cups water), 1.5 cups beef stock (extra flavor). Added 1/2 cup of carrots and 1 celery stalk, less then as suggested. I did add 1 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, no added salt. I Did add tablespoon of fresh lemon juice at the end. I used a crock pot to cook this in, 1 hour on high and 4 hours low. I used Northern Beans 3 pounds pre cooked. Delish and hardy.

  35. This is just the very best recipe for navy bean soup….I used a ham shank and removed the meat
    from the bone once the soup was almost ready and added all of it to the soup—much more than using a ham hock,etc.   I also “very lightly”used an immersion blender to puree a small amount of the cooked beans to add thickness and creamier broth to the mixture….all resulting in a delicious soup that
    everyone enjoying it agrees is almost beyond compare…..(freezes well also for future enjoyment!)

    • …..oh and almost forgot….I also added two finely diced carrots and two diced stalks of celery—in order to add a little more “heartiness and flavor” to the mixture with great success…everyone loves this soup!

  36. LOVE this recipe!!!! Tweaked it of coarse! I use left over smoked shank bone & scraps, I also added carrots & celery, a little extra fresh time, and 1/2 way through cook time I add 2 peeled and small cubes potatoes. The entire family loves this and it’s a staple! Always better the next day if there is any leftovers!

  37. I’ve used this recipe to tweak my old beans and ham hock soup and always reference this when I make it again. The fresh thyme makes it so good! I used dried thyme a couple times in a pinch but not the same. I’ve also tried it with and without the red pepper flakes and my family and I prefer without. 5 stars from me!

  38. I made this with ham hocks, I ended up not adding any salt but I did bump up the red pepper flakes just a couple pinches. I loved this recipe so much I ate it every day until it was gone. Delicious!!

  39. I’ve made this 100 times and it never disappoints. I did change the following.. I use chicken stock in place of water and I make a mirepoix. I also add fresh rosemary and a couple bay leaves. Let it simmer for about 3 hours before removing the ham bone.

  40. Found d this soup to be delicious.  Followed recipe and included carrots and celery but added red cabbage and some yellow mustard to taste

  41. Delicious! I had to add more salt and simmer the beans veeery long to get them mushy. But that was really worth it 😊

  42. This recipe is perfect as is. I used unsmoked ham hocks from our farm., because that’s what I had. I also quick-soaked the navy beans in instant pot for five minutes pressure, slow release. Salted after everything was cooked. Thank you, flavors were excellent! I can imagine with a smoked ham bone, this would be even tastier.

  43. Pingback: 10 Leftover Ham Bone Recipes You’ll Love - Insanely Good

  44. This was delicious and souper (sorry – couldn’t resist!) easy! I followed the recipe almost exactly with just a few modifications, based on previous comments. I decreased the amount of liquid added so that the soup was thicker and I used ham bones (which turned out to be pig trotters!) from the butcher which gave the soup a lovely, velvety mouth feel (all that collagen ) but probably decreased the amount of ham chunks. I cut the trotters up so as to enable it to more easily melt into the soup. I had Rancho Gordo cranberry beans so that’s what I used and their smoky profile is a perfect fit with this recipe. I had rinsed, overnight soaked and then separetely cooked the beans and used their cooking liquid towards the recommended 10 cups of water (I used about 8.5). I also used Diaspora ground chilli powder instead of red pepper flakes. I mention both of these brands (which I have no affiliation with other than as an avid consumer) because they are each notable for incredibly fresh and delicous products, and of course delicious ingredients make cooking a delcious meal that much easier.

  45. This is so very simple and a family favorite… I use a large bone in ham slice most of the time, since we rarely cook a whole ham, cut into cubes. I also use vegetable stock in place of water and a a little I can’t believe it’s not bullion…chicken flavored. Drained Navy or Northern canned beans are fine to substitute if you forget to prepare. Enjoy.

  46. Awesome – I added carrots, celery), fresh thyme, and at end, added browned ground sausage and nice peppery dandelion greens! So yummy and definitely filling. Served to many peeps, and all have asked for the recipe! Hummmmm ….. which ingredient did I leave out? Thinking lemon juice? 😂

  47. Delicious !! 

  48. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this recipe. I’ve never had cumin or red pepper flakes in my ham and beans. But, it is really good! I used a ham bone from a ham shank that I had cooked a few days ago. I used the juices from the pot as a base for the broth. No salt or pepper needed. I should really make some cornbread to go with this!

  49. I prepared this in a crockpot and was pleased with the result with a couple of small modifications. I still soaked the beans overnight (I like to remove the husks after soaking) and cooked the soup on low for ten hours. I sauteed diced carrots and celery along with the onions and used chicken stock instead of water, as well as adding extra ham at the end. I only used 8 cups of stock and still ended up making a roux with some if the stock to thicken the soup the last hour. It was still a little bland for my taste so I added a cup of ketchup at the end for added flavor. The result was excellent and the next day it was even better!

    • My Dad always made the best bean soup and always added about 1/2 cup ketchup at the end. If soup wasn’t thick enough to his liking, he scooped out some cooked beans at the end and mashed them with a fork, then added them back into the soup. Another of his tricks to thicken was adding leftover mashed potatoes or adding some peeled, chopped potatoes to soup and let them cook down. No need to add roux.

  50. This is the best bean soup ever. Bears my recipe thatI used for 30 years. I added small egg dumplings as I always have done. My new recipe for sure. Thanks for the recipe.

  51. Wonderful!
    My suggestions…Only needed 60 minutes of simmering. I used only 1 tsp of thyme and 1/2 tsp of red pepper. A bit too soupy! I’d use 9 cups of water next time. Also… I’d add some ham chunks at the end of the simmering to add more of a ‘meaty’ meal! So wonderful! Thank you for the recipe. It made our New Year’s Day perfect!

  52. I made this soup yesterday.  Honestly, it’s tasteless…and it’s not because of COVID.  Because of the water base, it sucks all the flavor from the ham.  Needed tons of salt to even eat.  Next time, I’ll use a base of chicken stock.  the spices were barely noticeable…very weak.

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  54. I have made this for a few years now, excellent soup! Instead of water I used vegetable stock and cooked it on low or keep warm overnight with the beans and ham bone. Turns out excellent each time. I also reduced the liquid to 8 cups instead of 10, you could also use less depending on how soupy you like it! 

  55. Really outstanding soup. It reminds me of the post-Christmas ham hock and bean soup my moment used to make, but this one is even better. The directions are clear and easy to follow. Thank you!

    One preparation note: I added some additional ham and the dish required zero additional salt. One idea I have for the next time I make it is to add more beans or a little less water just to give it a little more heft, if desired.

  56. Everyone upset it’s too thin, no it’s just not done.  Beans need at least 3 hours to start to break down if you soaked then 24 hours, longer if not.  Patience no need for instant potatoes.  When beans start to break, just remove it from heat when it’s thickness you prefer.  

  57. This was a GREAT recipe! Not only was it super-fast and easy (barring the simmering time, of course), it tasted so good. It was the perfect foil for a cold early winter evening!

    Changes: I didn’t have fresh thyme, so I used a quarter teaspoon of dried, ground thyme. I also only used about a quarter tsp chili flakes and quarter tsp ground white pepper. The spice was barely there, so perfect for plain palettes, but definitely boosted the overall flavor profile. Otherwise, everything else was as the recipe called for, including the carrots and celery!

    This took very little time to assemble, though, even with the extra veggies. Just some quick chopping and you’re there. Yes, you have to wait on the beans to soak, but that’s inactive time, same with the simmering time. It’s kind of a “fire-and-forget” kind of dish, but with an excellent end result! I’ll definitely be making this again!

  58. Prepared this as written and this is delicious.

  59. I’m trying this because I didn’t have pinto. But it will be in an instant pot. Thanks so much!!

  60. I made this soup upon the request of my husband and was so happy with the results. It was filling but not heavy, like other bean soups I’ve had in the past. There was a nice warmth from the red pepper flakes but not spicy at all! I did add carrots and celery and I really liked the additions. 10/10 Will definitely make again!

  61. Super easy and VERY flavorful. I bought a honey baked ham bone with scraps and used that. I also added carrots and celery.  You def want to try this recipe!! 

  62. Just like my Mom made hers! Wonderful!

  63. AMAZING!  To think this was made on the cheap!

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  65. simple,seasoned well and easy to make. just as delicious as anything you could buy in a restaurant!…adding a little cornstarch and/or mashing a few of the beans will thicken the broth and add a little heartiness to the soup….depending upon your meat source—you can also add a quarter cup of bacon drippings to support your ham…..(borrowed from others) I always 
    include a couple of diced fresh (medium) carrots and a couple (medium)stalks of fresh minced celery….just love this soup!!  Great with homemade iron skillet cornbread or buttermilk biscuits….

  66. Excellent recipe!
    To those who want a thicker soup, try taking a potato masher and mashing up some (approx 1 cup) of the beans. After mixing them back in, the soup will be thicker. I personally don’t like adding potatoes to my soup, and mashing some of the beans gives the soup the perfect thickness.

  67. I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s my go-to. One thing I enjoy adding is pickles and some juice. Yes, you read that right. Mmmmmmm The guys love it.

  68. Very good recipe!! It came out so savory and delicious. My Husband and I enjoyed this dish. I used ham neckbones with some Cajun spice and came out really good.

  69. We made this recipe with leftover Easter ham. Turned out great. Thanks for sharing.

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  71. I always thicken with left over mashed potatoes. Instant works fine too. About a cup of mashed potatoes per recipe, start with half, mix in, add more as needed. That is a cup of finished mashed potatoes, not a cup of flakes or dry product. You can microwave a potato, scoop out and mash (I do it with cream, salt pepper, butter) if you have no leftovers. You will love how this thickens and add’s texture.

  72. Absolutely wonderful recipe for my leftover Easter ham bone. Thank you for sharing Nana’s recipe. I only reduced the amount of thyme because I was using dried thyme and I also added two chicken bouillon cubes and small diced carrot, celery and onion. Exceptional flavor profile.

  73. Unfortunately i made the recipe exact and it didnt have enough flavor. I expected it to be great but it wasnt.

  74. Deeelicious!! I happened to have fresh chicken broth and 3-4 cups of defatted ham dripping from Instant Pot (maple pineapple ham). Best ham and bean soup we’ve had! Beans were perfectly “first day” brothy, the way I likenthem in a ham & bean soup. It thickened up a great deal the next day. This is our 2nd pot since Easter… with jalapeno cornbread. Yummy!

  75. Excellent flavor! My only complaint is this came out way too brothy.. I even used half chicken stock half water and added carrots. It could be a personal preference but this had way too much broth. I’d love to make again so any tips on how to thicken it up? Maybe I will add another bag of beans…. I’m wondering if doing the quick soak in the instant pot caused my beans to cook and make them not absorb liquid while simmering the soup. 

  76. This was a delicious and easy soup to make. I used by Instant Pot to cook the dry beans quickly and then again for all the soup ingredients. I also added the carrots and celery, used vegetable broth and had a small ham w/o bone so I chopped and used that. Like others I was hesitant about the cumin, just because it isn’t the type of recipe I would normally use it in, but man am I glad I went with it! Thank you for a great recipe!

  77. This time I added carrots and the dried mashed potatoes to thicken it up. Love it! You know if Covid did not happen I would have never learned how to make this soup. I bought dried beans at the beginning of this pandemic and have to use them up now. Thank you for the recipe.

  78. Great recipe!  My family loved it.  Easy to do and flavourful. 

  79. Really awesome! Added the extra veggies. Used dried thyme and ham hocks (no ham bone), plus additional ham leftovers. At end I pureed some of  the beans/liquid to make it thicker. Added a splash of liquid smoke. Loved it and very hearty. Thank you!

  80. Made this exactly as laid out in the recipe and it was amazing! My husband loved it, as did I. It’s a great comfort food in this cold weather! It’s definitely a keeper.

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  82. I did add the celery & carrot option. I substitute 10 th cup of water for 1 cup of dark beer plus added 1 bay leaf. Came out excellent!

  83. Every person rated this recipe 4 and 5 stars.  I’m guessing it’s not the recipe but rather, your inability to add spices to taste.  It’s incredible that you’d give a crappy rating for something that’s your own fault.

  84. I have made Navy Bean soup for years but decided to look up some recipes for inspiration. I loved the idea of adding cumin. I make a vegetarian lentil soup with cumin and love the smokiness it adds. I followed your recipe but used a ham hock and a ham steak, added carrots, celery and a couple of diced potatoes and a can of diced tomatoes and a couple of bay leaves. It simmered all day and we loved it! Oh and I used 2 cartons of vegetable broth and after a couple of hours added 2 additional cups of water and some salt. And I never soak my beans overnight and do a quick parboil and they’re always perfectly tender. Thanks for the great recipe!

  85. I absolutely love this soup! The cumin makes it perfect as is. My son is so picky and he loves it. We all do. Soooooooo glad to have found your recipe. 😄💜💜💜

  86. Just made the soup and used a leftover (frozen)ham bone and fresh thyme from my winter garden in addition to the other spices and carrot/celery. The only substitution was I had pinto beans in pantry and used those. I think you could honestly use this recipe with any white bean. The soup came out great. I did have a bit more broth than I prefered so to thicken the soup I added some Israeli Couscous. I bet you could add any pasta or barley as well. Perfect soup for a winter day and a hearty meal!

  87. My Mom always put a lil white vinegar in to take the sting out of the beans,

  88. Stores were out of navy beans, for some reason, so I used cannellini beans. Substituted two leeks for the onion and added a couple of generous handfuls of chopped kale in the last 1/2 hour. I did soak the beans, but they took a long time to soften. I cooked the leeks, celery, carrot, and garlic slightly in a little olive oil, first, and then dumped everything in a crockpot on low for almost 9 hours with a Honeybaked ham bone which added a great smoked flavor. Did not have any red pepper flakes and was reluctant to use cumin, but it added a perfect amount of seasoning to the soup. This is an outstanding soup and I’m making it again tomorrow!

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  90. Excellent recipe! I couldn’t find a ham bone, so I used a ham steak, and unfortunately I did not have cumin. I added the carrots and celery like suggested. Thanks for a great recipe!

  91. This is without a doubt the best bean soup I’ve ever made. I’m tossing every other bean soup recipe in my binders. Followed instructions to the letter except for adding a bit of chicken base to give the broth a bit more oomph. It’s perfection. Don’t be daunted by the spice level; it’s not overpowering, just enough to give the soup depth.

  92. I made this recipe using the carrots and celery noted as an option and added a bay leaf. I did not have a ham bone and my local market had only smoked pork neck bones, slightly drier and quite smokey compared to ham. The soup turned out beautifully and full flavored. Its terrific served with warm crusty bread and sliced green apples on the side. Highly recommend this recipie.

  93. I loved this easy bean and ham soup. I did use 8 cups of chix broth, carrots and celery, added a  bay leaf. Delish!

  94. So you changed the recipe, your changes stunk and you gave the original recipe a poor rating? Genius!

  95. I absolutely love this recipe. The only thing I change is that I add some roasted garlic potato flakes or a couple spoonfuls of mashed potatoes to thicken in a bit ❤️

  96. Soup was great! I used the bone from a ham I smoked then added a little smoked paprika, I also added celery and carrots. DELICIOUS!!

  97. Easy and quick (I used canned navy beans). Our Honeybaked ham bone went to good use in this hearty soup.  I sautéd the onion, garlic, and ham as instructed and then added the water, brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 50 minutes.  I chose to add the carrots (3) and celery (3 stalks) along with (2) white potatoes cut into chunks. To thicken the base slightly, I used 1/4 cup of flour and mixed it with 1/2 cup or so of the broth and incorporated it back into the soup.  I also added 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire  sauce to build up the flavor of the broth.  I did not add any extra salt.  My family loved this soup and enjoyed soaking up the broth with thick slices of French bread.  I chose the buttery green bean recipe listed along with Nana’s recipe and they were also delicious.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  98. This was soo good! Thank you for the recipe.

  99. Delicious!

  100. Easy and hearty!  I’d make this again for sure. I added peas and potatoes with the carrots and onions.  Celery too!  I used chicken stock, no water. Thank you for  sharing. 

  101. This was excellent! I was home today so kept it simmering with the bone for about 5 hours the richest broth ever! Only other thing I changed was added carrots and used dry thyme I can’t wait to make this again Thank You!

  102. Made this soup using navy beans (soaked for 24 hours) and leftover ham from Christmas.  It was absolutely delicious!  I read other reviews on this soup and elected to use chicken stock instead of water and I think it made all the difference.  Some reviewers complained of the beans being too dry, but if they are soaked overnight, and the soup allowed to simmer long enough for the beans to fully cook, there shouldn’t be a “dry beans” issue.   Thanks for a great recipe!

  103. Made this tonight with cornbread.  Took the advice to add a little apple cider vinegar, added it individually.  This is the best soup ever!!!  Perfect after Christmas use of the ham bone!!!!

    • When did you drizzle in the vinegar?   Was it after it was ladled into serving bowls or while still the soup pot?   Little tricks like this can take a good dish to the next level!

      I can’t wait to make this…..hopefully tomorrow!

  104. Delish- my grandmother always served this with a little drizzle of white vinegar too- weird but good!

  105. Delish! My grandmother always served it with a little drizzle of white vinegar too, weird but good!

  106. So Good! I did a quick soak of my beans in the Instant pot, 3 minutes, then let them sit in the pot for a while ( actually forgot about them) so the beans were pretty soft. so I sauteed an onion and some carrots and celery in a bit of olive oil added the ham bone along with some scraps of ham and a quart of chicken broth, spices ( no salt!) and a bay leaf, cooked in my instant pot for 20 minutes. I then added 3-4 cups beans and cooked 14 minutes more. It was perfect! If wanted, you can thicken the soup by removing some beans and broth and use an immersion blender on it to puree, then adding back to main soup pot.

  107. I made 2 batches of this soup. One on stovetop and one with a crockpot at the same time. I combined the northern beans and navy beans and soaked them overnight (2 lbs). I split them up equally between the crockpot and stove pot. I used the leftovers from a 10lb ham shank  I made on Christmas Eve. I saute’d the onions and garlic and ham bone. I used 3 carrots and 3 celery sticks. Only difference is I used 8 cups of water instead of 10 ( I like my soups thick not watery and knew I could add more if needed). I used the fat and left over meat of the ham on the stove top and used the hambone in the crock pot. Both came out excellent. It took 2 1/2 hours on stovetop and 7 hours in the crockpot. My entire family said it was the best homemade soup they have ever had. Thank you for the recipe. 

  108. Looks like a tasty recipe.  Can you use a ham hock instead of a hambone ?  Thx Mark

    • Absolutely! I normally use ham hocks, and you’ll find other recipes that call for ham hocks as well. This’ll be my first time using a ham bone! 😄

  109. Can i use can beans

  110. I made this soup (doubled recipe) last weekend and making another pot of it tonight. It is really delicious and I have been giving it to friends and family as Christmas gifts. I didn’t have fresh thyme or ham bone but used some dried thyme and a couple slices of uncooked center cut smoked ham with the bone in.  At the end I just cut the cooked ham up into small pieces, chilled it and scooped off the fat. I also used half chicken broth and half water and added celery and carrots. The soup thickens up nicely as it cools. 

  111. This recipe is delicious and I’m not even a bean fan! I only thing I did differently was I added carrots, celery and garlic to the onion mix. I replaced the 10 cups of water with 10 cups of chicken stock. It. Was. Amazing. Thank you!!!

  112. This is my third trip to this recipe since Thanksgiving.  I had a huge ham.  My husband used his chop saw to cut the bone in thirds.  It’s a great recipe and your lucky to have a Nana share her recipe.  I did add carrots and celery, and a shallot which only had a few days left before it became cash in the trash.  Thank you for sharing.  
    By the way do you have a black eye pea recipe for New Years Day?

    Merry Christmas to all.  Stay safe and healthy.

  113. I don’t have a large ham bone but I do have 2 large smoked ham steaks, bone in. Will these work for the soup?

  114. Perfect! I ran out of cumin so I substituted curry powder. I used a container of beef stock I had. Best soup I’ve ever made. Thank you! 

  115. Great soup! My compliments to Nana!

    • This was amazingly flavorful, filling and oh so comforting on the cold winter nights.

      LOVE the fresh thyme addition, and have it in my garage with my other wintering herbs.

  116. I made this for an evening meal as a double batch.  I chose canned Great Northern beans-rinsed and put into the pot. I sautéed onions, carrots and celery in butter. For seasonings we used one Tbs. of dried Italian seasoning, minced garlic and 2 tsp cumin.   The ham bone had a quite a bit of meat so we put it in the pot for the boil and simmer. Picked meat off the bone and added to soup when it was finished. It received rave reviews from the pickiest of eaters ranging from 6 to 80!  There was plenty for everyone to have generous seconds. We only had one generous helping left with one piece of cornbread.    We enjoyed this delicious recipe!

  117. I made this soup today with chicken stock in lieu of water, added finely chopped carrots and celery along with 6 thick slices of cooked and finely chopped bacon.  Threw in a bay leaf and a little fresh rosemary in addition to the stated spices. Absolutely delicious and very flavorful. (Would’ve been just as tasted without my additions!) Highly recommend 

  118. I did make this navy bean recipe with great northern beans. Everyone that has tried it thought it was delicious and hardy.
    Thank you very much for yott for the recipe

  119. This soup was comforting and delicious. My entire family loved it!

  120. This is a great ham bone soup recipe. I love soup recipes for fall/winter and this one is definitely going on my list of must-makes!

  121. Third time making this soup and it’s perfect each time! 

  122. Can this be made with canned beans? I have a can of dark red kidney and one of cannelini beans I would like to use 

  123. Is there a crockpot version of this recipe and can I use canned great northern beans?

    • Hi Willy,

      You can make this recipe in the crock pot… Soak the beans, sauté the veggies on the stovetop, add all the ingredients to crock pot, and cook 4-6 hours. You can use canned beans and it will reduce the cooking time, but honestly, it’s best with dried-soaked beans.

  124. Can I use the ham bone more then a couple of time?

    • Hi Brenda,

      I usually just use a hambone once. However, I have heard that if there is still meat on the bone and marrow in the center, you can wrap and freeze it for later use. Yet if you’ve “picked the bone dry” in a recipe, throw it out. ;)

  125. This was a wonderful way to transition from our scorching hot summer and fires to autumn. This recipe works really well precisely because it’s so basic. We followed it to the letter because that’s how we work. Then we tweak it if need be.

    Didn’t have a ham bone, so I used a couple of big ham hocks, and they were perfect. After reading the comments below, some observations:

    (hmm, why doesn’t the return key work in this field?). If your dried beans have been hanging around for a long time, get new ones. Old ones, sometimes, never soften up. Be careful with your ham bone. If it’s the bland supermarket version, you should be fine, but if it’s from a true Virginia or country ham, it’ll bring all the sodium with it. And, yes, you can use black-eye peas or black beans, but they have different flavor profiles, so you may need to add some sherry (NOT “cooking” sherry) to soften the sometimes musty flavor. And if you want a thicker soup, drop an immersion blender into it and pulse it a few times. Really good!

  126. Interesting soup. I followed the recipe, something I rarely do. Found it to be pretty spicy with 1/2tsp crashed red pepper, so I suggest using it sparingly if you’re not a fan of heat. The beans soaked about 15 hours but had to cook longer to get them to a texture I liked.
    I then added 3 Bay leaves, chopped celery , 1/2 stick unsalted butter and simmered until the celery was cooked. THIS was delicious!!! The bay leaves pulled the flavors together, celery have it some crunch and the butter toned down the burn and added extra yummy.

  127. Disappointing. The beans weren’t even close to cooked after 90 minutes. I finally ate some of the soup after 3 hours, but the other person I was cooking for didn’t find it palatable (the beans were still not soft) and ate bread and cheese for dinner. :-(

    Note, I soaked the beans for about 20 hours beforehand, and I followed the recipe exactly.

    • You probably didn’t have enough water to soak the beans in.  They need a lot of water, I usually put my beans in 8 cup bowl and fill it almost to the top with water. 

    • Dry beans, peas, lentils (any type dried legume) always require plenty of H2O to achieve proper texture once cooked, unless you are using a pressure cooker of course.
      I would hardly rate this recipe badly for your incapable cooking knowledge.
      Sounds like the rest of your meal lacked if you guest had only cheese & bread to eat. At least bake some fresh biscuits with the soup and have something as an alternative, obviously you aren’t a frequent hostess and if so, should be a better cook. ;)

      • What a ridiculous thing to say. All dried beans can behave differently and when I read this recipe I thought to myself that 90 minutes might not be enough cooking time. You’re making assumptions about what kind of a cook she is, making assumptions about how much water she used, and in general just being unkind. There is no need for this kind of behavior. 

    • If any type beans re old they will take a long time to cook.

    • Same issue, New Bag of Bean, 20 hrs soak, water well over the top of the beans all the way to the end. 120 minutes cook, beans were just beginning to get soft. In the end, I was not a fan.

  128. May I use a pork shoulder bone with meat instead of a ham bone?

  129. This was SO good. Everyone loved it

  130. Great soup. I made mine in a crockpot (slow cooker). Put it on at noon while I was making lunch and had it for supper about 6 hours maybe a little less. Soaked my beans the night before. 

  131. Can this still be done if my beans soak longer than 24 hours? I ran out of time today and didn’t get a chance to make it. Also, can this be done in a Crock-Pot if beans have been soaked already?

  132. If you plan to freeze some do it before you put potatoes in if using them. Potatoes in soup don’t freeze well and get a mealy, nasty texture.

  133. This is the best soup I have ever made! I use a helper ham, leak instead of onion and make a triple batch. I freeze it in medium size containers and eat like a King.

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  136. I used black-eyed peas and low-fat uncured ham I had on hand instead of the ham bone. I added diced carrots. I used a pressure cooker with the 1-hour soak method. This was absolutely delicious!

  137. when would I add potatoes?

    • Hi Mike,

      Diced potatoes will take about 15-20 minutes to cook. Therefore, add them when the beans are almost as soft as you like them, then simmer another 20 minutes.

  138. Excellent recipe. My only change was to add about a tsp of apple
    cider vinegar at the end. Perfection. Thank you!

  139. Pingback: The best ways to use all the beans in your pantry | Top News

  140. Pingback: The best ways to use all the beans in your pantry – Vegan simplicity

  141. Just wonderful!  So easy by adding everything in on top on
    top of bone.   Second time I made it this way.  A meal in itself.

  142. Absolutely delish and so easy!! 
    I used a bit more than a lb of beans since I only had pinto beans available. So good! Took the purée advice and mashed up some right there in the pot and it gave it a creamy texture. 

  143. This recipe was fantastic!  I made a half batch in the slow cooker (just cooked veg and browned ham then deglazed the pan with chicken stock and tossed it all in the crock pot). I added some hot paprika and a leftover sweet potato just for the heck of it, and I am very happy with the results!

  144. I do not have thyme. Can I use 1 tablespoon of dry oregano or herbes de provence in its place?

  145. I did not but it sounds and looks just like the Navy Bean Soup that my mom made. The Monday after Easter you would always find 2 lg stock pots on the stove. . . . One contained the Pea Soup and One contained the Bean Soup. . . . sooooo easy and sooooo delicious.

  146. I also usually add some whole tomatoes or diced to a water chicken broth mixture as beans boil. I usually sauté some onions and garlic and sometimes bacon and then add couple tablespoons of flour to make a rue and whisk until nice brown color and then add it to simmering soup! I use garlic powder, thyme, bay leaves, crushed mustered, parsley, pepper to taste ! I find the rue is what makes it over the top! Also I have made it just buying a ham steak and chopping it up in it!

  147. Great recipe,  great taste. Added carrots and celery then bumped it up with some potatoes. 
    Thanks for sharing.

  148. I made this soup just today using the hambone from Easter. It is easy to make and so delicious. I did it exactly as recipe calls for except I used 1 tspn of dried thyme instead of fresh. This soup is so flavorful and hearty. A keeper!

  149. Can I use black beans instead of Navy beans? Thank you.

    • I think it would still taste great with black beans! Use what you have!

      • If you plan to freeze some do it before you put potatoes in if using them. Potatoes in soup don’t freeze well and get a mealy, nasty texture.

  150. I’ve made this recipe twice now; once after Thanksgiving and now , after Easter. It’s absolutely amazing. I use water and bone broth for the 10 cups of liquid and add a little cream at the end. I love how the cumin and thyme and the saltiness of the ham work so well together. Thanks for sharing!! 

  151. Turned out great! I did add carrots and celery as well. Thank you for the recipe!

  152. Yep…This was absolutely the best. I used my pressure cooker to speed things up. Will be making this again.

  153. Great flavor and aroma! Added carrots, celery and diced three small potatoes. So delicious! Will definitely make this again!

  154. My family really enjoyed this! I needed to use my Easter ham bone, and this recipe got my attention with that gorgeous photo and great reviews. I added one small carrot and one small celery stalk with the onion and garlic, and simmered uncovered to get a thicker consistency (worked great – got really thick – next time would partially cover). On taste-testing, mine needed a little boost of richness, so I added a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. I added macaroni (kid-pleasing) at the end and topped with parsley, olive oil, and parmesan. Next time I will add the tomato paste before the water, and cook it a little before adding the water. Overall – really delicious and my family ate the whole pot, with bread and salad:)

  155. Loved the flavors, even though I didn’t add the crushed red pepper (we tend to add heat at the table per everyone’s preferences), and I’ll definitely make it again. 

    NB – I started with two cups of broth and six cups of water, and cooked the soup covered. I might do 4 and 4 next time. Thanks for the recipe  ^_^

  156. I love this recipe. My family really enjoyed. I think it will be a new staple for my young adults.
    Thanks for sharing

  157. Awesome! Added a little chicken base, definitely added the carrots and celery and used a smoked ham hock instead of a hambone. Excellent recipe!

  158. Thanks for the recipe it came out great! I don’t remember my Nana’s cooking, she passed when I was young. However, I had her cookbook & remember reading a recipe similar to this before it was misplaced some years ago. I didn’t have time for an overnight soak so I followed the instructions for a quick soak on the bag of beans. Boil beans in water for 2mins remove from heat, soak in same boiled water for an hour covered, rinse. Followed your recipe to the T with only a few exceptions. I didn’t have a ham bone. Used smoked pork hock instead. Added the celery & carrots. Also, hubby isn’t a fan of cumin so I only used about 1 1/4 tsp. Had a smaller pot forcing me to use less water (6-8cups) so the soup consistency was thicker. Served with cornbread & a side of white rice. Delicious!

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  160. Simmer for 3 hours, added beef bouillon powder….

  161. Thank you! I tried this a month ago and followed you recipe exactly. It was fantastic. I am making it again tonight. I was leery about the cumin, but everyone including my picky daughter and husband loved it. They are coming back tonight for more! I did use the carrots and celery also.

  162. Beautiful spicing in this recipe. It reminded me of tortilla soup so I added some celery in with the onion and some corn toward the end of the cooking process. Just before serving I added some pepper jack cheese, a slice of avocado and some tortilla chips in lieu of crackers. Delicious.

  163. I made this delicious soup recipe, just as it shows here, it was amazing. Thank you

  164. I made just as it shows here, it was amazing. Thank you

  165. Can I sub a different type of bean? I only have pinto, black eyed peas, and kidney beans on hand. Also, if I dont soak and use the instant pot method instead, would I just be pressure cooking the beans beforehand or doing the whole soup in there? Thanks in advance! I can’t wait to try this soup!

  166. Yeah, Nana was a BADDASS! This soups is the best in the entire world. We overcooked a Christmas ham by a long ways. It was just not too palatable because the texture was ruined. So here was a whole ham and we were just not going to eat it. We found this recipe and put about one third of a butt portion ham in it. We froze the rest of the ham and now today we are making it again. Thank You NANA ! This freezes great, we have taken it to work as lunch. It keeps the rest of the stuff in your lunch cooler cold as well. Fantastic simple recipe. We love you Nana!

  167. Always gave away the bone form our Christmas ham because my husband doesn’t like beans. I found your recipe and made the soup per your instructions, including carrots and celery. I decided to throw in a 14.5 ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. This wonderfully spiced soup smelled so good while simmering that my husband had to taste. We just enjoyed this soup for dinner and hubby couldn’t believe how much he liked Nana’s Epic Navy Bean soup. Thanks to you and Nana!

  168. I have been making navy bean soup with left a left over ham bone (and plenty of ham on it) for decades! Nana’s right on with everything to make a delicious meal!

  169. Looks delicious! I’ve got a hambone and wanted to try something different, so this is on the menu for this week. :)

    One note: Our family’s small, so we rarely buy a whole ham, and the meat departments at our local grocery stores haven’t been able to help us with hambones. Yet we love soups, especially ones that use bones for flavoring.

    However, I’ve found one other alternative to get a hambone and some leftover ham – Honeybaked Ham. (This only works if you have one locally.) They save and sell their hambones, and while their regular hams are pretty pricey, $10- $12 gets us a hambone with enough meat on it for one to two other meals besides the soup! This last time around, I made a soup that just needed a couple of cups of leftover ham, a caramelized onion, Brie and ham quiche, and I’ve got enough left over (plus the hambone) to make this soup, too!

    Hope that helps anyone who’s in our position. Happy souping!

  170. This soup was indeed epic: it was easy to make, filling, and the broth was satisfyingly flavorful, with hints of heat and smokiness from the red pepper and cumin. The recipe made enough for a couple of dinners for two, and a week of lunches (although I suspect it would freeze very well if you were to tire of it).

    We had no trouble with hard beans, but we did a 24 hour soak because I’ve never been successful with the quick boil method. The beans cooked perfectly. My daughter and I have agreed that this is probably one of the best soups we’ve made.

  171. Fantastic flavor!  I used some vegetable broth I had in the fridge along with the water to get to the 10 C of liquid.  I also added a couple of chopped carrots, some chopped celery, a tsp of dried mustard and a bit of thyme.  One of the things I love most in this recipe is the red pepper, as it adds just the right amount of kick.  So delicious!

  172. Excellent! I read the reviews about using dried beans that have been on the shelf a long time. I bought the dried beans and used them immediately, soaking overnight and following the recipe directions to a T. The beans were tender after cooking for 75 minutes, and the soup was absolutely delicious! We love spicy foods, so I used the max recommended red pepper flakes (1 tsp.). Might back that down to 3/4 tsp. next time. The soup was a great consistency and I didn’t need to add additional water – enjoy!

  173. Fabulous recipe! I had a left over 6lb ham bone with meat on it and used it in this. I did trim the fat off the bone and meat prior to placing it in the pot. (Read some comments on fattiness and I always remove excess fat and eat lean. The marbling of the ham will create enough flavor to not necessitate keeping it in the recipe). I did add the celery and carrots (love veggies), soaked the beans for 12 hours. I remembered a tip on beans breaking down (the skin can stay a little tough and not break down for a thick soup. So I put a teaspoon of tomato paste I had left over – I bag and freeze left overs in teaspoon size for recipes. And it broke down the beans perfectly without changing the flavor. Cooked for 2 hours and it was thick and beautiful. Love the addition of the cumin and the red pepper flakes. I didn’t need any salt and the flavors of fresh thyme leaves, cumin, onion, garlic, ham and beans it was incredible! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  174. Turned out great.  We had a really meaty ham bone (huge ham, small fam) so I had plenty of meat on the bone and didn’t need to supplement.  The soup did seem a little fatty after the first hour.   However at that point I added 2 bay leaves, ~1 Tbsp low sodium chicken base, and 1 diced potato (could have done 2).   After another 20 min I scooped up most of the potato and smashed it before stirring it back in, to help thicken the soup.  
    Beans were pretty close to done.  I used filtered water which may have helped?  Diced and added 2 more potatoes, carrot, and celery at the end and cooked til they were done.  The potatoes helped with the salt levels but the soup was still fairly salty – a less meaty bone might have been better in that respect.
    We liked the heat level, and the cumin faded to the background nicely (I am not a cumin fan at all), and the initial fattiness seemed to vanish, possibly because of the extra veg.
    Would make again!

  175. Michael Snow, How old were your beans? If you are, like I used to be, that dried beans last forever, you would be wrong. I figure that was your problem, because the same thing happened to me, a few years ago. Get a new bag of beans, and do it again, this stuff really is am amazing.

  176. Great Stuff!!! I wanted to add a few more veggies, so I whipped up a couple of cups of chicken broth from bullion powder, and then was able to add broccoli, carrots, a couple of tomatoes, and celery. Everyone loved it, especially our youngest son, who flipped over it. Thank you, Spicy Perspective!!!

  177. I’ve made Navy Bean Soup many times but I was looking for something a bit different so I started looking and found Nana’s recipe and I’m glad I did. If you like soup this one is fantastic… It’s so good and explodes with flavor.

  178. This is a better version of my family’s recipe, which has always been bland (sorry Mom!). Like other commenters, I was unsure about the cumin, but oh my goodness was it delicious! I used the ham bone and leftover slices from Christmas, and left the lid off while simmering as I prefer a thicker consistency. No need for additional salt. The result was flavorful, hearty, and comforting. I’ll be making it this way from now on.

  179. Loved it, so did my neighbors with whom I shared it.

  180. I made this with the Christmas ham bone! It came out great! My family loved it. I did add carrots and celery for additional flavor and nutrients. I cooked it a bit longer as my family likes it on the thicker side. Yummy! I will definitely be making this again.

    • I neglected to mention that I didn’t need to add any salt. The salt from the ham was plenty. Thanks for the tip on that! I will be checking out your other recipes.

  181. This recipe is very easy and soooo delicious! My family loved it!

  182. So yummy – I made my own changes but do not skip the red pepper flakes. It gives a touch of heat that is divine. It makes the soup for me. Yummmm!

  183. My mom put hard boiled eggs in hers that’s how I make mine. Really the only thing that’s different
    Pennsylvania Dutch thing I guess

  184. Browsing, noticed the problems some had with hard beans. I’m another Nana. I’ve experienced hard beans many times. It’s a problem cured by longer cooking, adding more liquid as needed. Bean freshness is usually the culprit. If that fella bought his beans at the same place twice, then he would get the same results twice! Don’t dump! keep cooking! Modern recipes overlook that no two bags of beans cook the same. Be careful where you buy, for freshness, and soak/cook until done. They are done soaking when doubled in size and not before. After 12 hours, soak them in the fridge for food safety. When cooking, bring to boil then DROP BACK TO SIMMER! Hard boiling early on is another big cause of tougher beans. Old beans can take a very long time to cook: They’re done when they are done and not before. That’s the old fashioned way!

    • As for soaking  12 hours is kind of generous but I would think the amount of time to cook everything  shouldn’t  cause any food safety concerns although the beans might turn out overly mushy  just saying.

  185. This was excellent. I made two slight changes, I used smoked ham hocks and two smoked ham boneless chops. Also, used 12 cups of water. Followed the cooking directions but then at the end,  raised heat to boil it down for another 2 or so hours, very flavorful and great consistency.

  186. Soo good. I accidentally purchase small navy beans and should have reduced the instapot time but it still turned out great. I used the leftover Honey Baked ham from Thanksgiving. Its brothy rich, spicey, and savory. Definitely going to keep this recipe. Thanks for sharing! Don

  187. I made this soup on Tuesday with leftover ham bone from Thanksgiving.  This is by far the best navy bean soup I’ve ever made.  I really think the cumin and crushed red pepper where the key ingredients.   My husband raved about it.  Thank you so much for sharing.

  188. I made this yesterday in the crockpot added whole slices of bacon that I took out at end also added diced tomatoes celery carrots and bay leaves. So awome thank you. Love the flavor of the cumin and the spice

  189. I am wanting to make this for dinner, however I have only canned beans on hand. Fingers crossed it will still turn out ok 🤭

  190. Used the spiral ham bone left over from Thanksgiving. Came out nice and thick, I used 4 cups low sodium chicken broth and 3 cups of water. I let it simmer for about 2 hours and served with corn bread. Absolutely delicious. They are right about the salt, I never even added any because the ham bone has so much salt. I also threw in some bacon slices I had to use up with the onions and garlic at the start. The house smelled amazing too; which is always a plus! 

  191. Thank you for this recipe, it was delicious with the leftover ham bone! I used ground thyme…1/2-1 tsp…I imagine fresh thyme is even better.

  192. I want to make this recipe – when I soak the beans overnight should the water be cold, warm or hot?  The soup looks delicious and I have all the ingredients.

    Thank you in advance for your anticipated reply.


  193. I couldn’t find a Ham Bone but got smoked Pork Hocks, will it work the same?

    • Yes but they dont have very much usable ham type meat. I recommend adding 1 pound of chunked up ham. Be sure not to add any salt until you taste the end product.
      Ham Hocks are very salty and I also suggest adding 2 or 3 carrots peeled and split half way so all the carrot goodness gets in there while absorbing some of the beans gassyness. Dont eat the carrots!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Yes, that is a great substitution. :)

    • Lisa, I just posted my comment, then scrolled back and saw this one, and thought I’d answer so you could see it. I don’t know if this will help you, but we have the same problem re: ham bones. We’re a small family, so a big ham is more than we can manage (even with freezing) but we love soups and such. I’ve asked at our grocery stores for hambones, with no success — heck, the big box stores don’t even have butchers (or Target doesn’t, anyway.)

      However, we do have a Honeybaked Ham store in the area, and they sell hambones. Their regular ham is expensive (IMO), but good; the hambones, though, are VERY reasonable — not just the bare bone, but enough ham on there for a couple of extra dishes that need ham pieces. They usually run $10-12, which is a bargain if I’m getting three dishes and leftovers for each dish!

      (And no, I’m not employed by Honeybaked — it’s just a great cheat that’s let me make a lot of extra soups and such without having to go to the trouble or expense of a whole ham, so thought I’d share. :) )

  194. This recipe was the first time I ever made homemade bean soup.  Wow….it was easy to make and excellent! I’m proud of myself but I couldn’t have done it without this recipe. I’m getting rave reviews too.
    I’m looking forward to making it again. Probably this winter and that’s coming soon.

  195. its going to be great Thanks

  196. Pingback: Homemade Ham Bone Soup from Never Enough Thyme

  197. OMG this soup is out of this world. I am now on my second pot but I will cut the thyme down to about half. Even in all this heat the soup is real satisfying. I also froze some and tried it a couple weeks later. It was just as hood as fresh. Thank you

  198. I do pretty much the same but add bacon grease or a couple slices of bacon to slow cook with the beans, my seasoning varies depending on mood at the time and always gotta have sweet corn bread

  199. Going to make the soup tomorrow! Can you tell me the equivalent to 1tbls of fresh thyem to dry??
    Can’t wait to try…….

  200. Just finished making this and it is excellent. Used up the remainder of the ham with the bone. You are right that ham can be stretched and repurposed. Made up a 21 pound smoked ham for Easter and have had more than a dozen meals for the family, including three pots of different beans and soups – Hoppin’ John, split pea soup and now this to finish off the ham. Very economical. Have to have some good Mississippi cornbread with it.

    I added to your recipe by adding in a half dozen diced fresh jalapenos, the other half dozen are diced up in the cornbread.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  201. This was truly epic! I reduced the amount of beans to only about one cup and used chicken stock and water. Sauteed celery with th onions. Added carrots during the last hour so they would not be mushy. Served it the next day and added kale during warm up. It was just the right thickness. I imagine it would be really thick with the whole pound of beans. But less beans is my family’s preference. Really really good. Thanks for this great recipe!

  202. This was the best tasting soup I have ever made! My family raved about it. I used about 1/2 tsp. of the red pepper flakes, and while not hot, it added such an enhancement to the broth.

  203. I just made this tonight. The soup was really tasty. I only put 8 cups of water in as my pot wasn’t large enough. It was plenty of water and I did soak the beans 12 hours. I liked the different spices in this recipe, it gave it bit of a kick. If you don’t like it too spicy then try cutting the red pepper flakes in half or by a third.

  204. I love how comforting it is! Can’t wait to make it again!

  205. Can I make the soup in the Instant Pot as opposed to the stove. That way I would t have to “guard” my stove ;) Any recommendations on how long I should pressure cook it?

  206. Make this after every time I make a ham. Don’t want to waste that taste ham bone!

  207. This is my go-to recipe when I have a ham bone available!

  208. Loved being able to use my Easter ham leftovers to make this!

  209. Wow! This soup looks so filling and comforting, love the ham bone!

  210. My dad loved navy bean soup and I made this in honor of him! He would have loved every bite, too!

  211. Great recipe…..I just made this today. Only thing I really did differently was instead of sauteing the bone with the onions/garlic, I broiled it instead to give it a char’d taste. Plus I felt like sauteing the bone is too much of a hassle because of the bone shape. I got the idea because in the video it looked like it was broiled too. =)

  212. great soup !!!!!!

  213. I made this unbelievable soup the last time you featured it on your site. Still have a portion in a freezer container. I used half chicken broth and half water plus celery and one carrot. Could not be a more satisfying meal on a cool night. Thanks for posting it again and a very Happy Easter to you and yours! PS. Black pepper cheddar biscuits go great with this.. just my opinion. Yum.

  214. Dear Sommer,
    This soup looks delicious and it sounds like we both grew up in a large family. Coming home from school to the smells of dinner cooking and soups simmering….so great. I will be trying this recipe sometime this week. The ham is in the oven now!! Just have to get the beans. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, recipes, and tips to make everything delicious. Happy Easter to you and yours.

  215. Have not made it yet, but, I can’t wait to. I grew up on bean soup and enjoy trying different spices in it. Thanks a million.

  216. Made this today,doubled the recipe but cut the water to 6 cups per pound of beans for a total of 12 cups. That gave the soup the thicker consistency I was looking for. Great recipe. 

  217. Very good soup! I’ve never put cumin in my navy bean soup before, but I will from now on 😀

  218. I used to love ham and beans when I was younger. I got very tired of eating them but, this recipe has brought it back to life and my husband and I absolutely love it! The thyme compliments the ham wonderfully. Thank you so much for posting this. It has put ham and beans back on our menu!

  219. Delicious recipe

  220. Great recipe , really simple, while that’s simmering gonna make some homemade cornbread ,thanks for a great recipe 

  221. You also need to sort through your beans before you cook them. I as a few tablespoons of White vinegar to give it a little punch. Enjoy 😃

  222. Great flavor!!…but how would I thicken this soup?
    Also, I may need to mellow the spicyness now that it is made. Any tips? Thanks!