A Spicy Perspective

Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup

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.

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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!

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Ham Bone Soup 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.

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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.

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Bean Soup

Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone 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?

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Navy 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 soup stock.

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

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Navy Beans

Although Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone 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.

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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.

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.

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Ham and Beans

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. Simmer the soup for at least an hour to soften the beans and draw the flavor out of the ham bone.

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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!

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How to Store Navy Bean Soup

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

You can freeze Nana’s Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup for later quickie meals.

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

Ham and Bean Soup #ASpicyPerspective #HamAndBeanSoup #NavyBeans #HamAndBeans #NavyBeanSoup #BeanSoup #Soup

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 Ham and Bean Soup. Enjoy!

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Simple Egg Drop Soup

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Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Nana's Epic Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup Recipe
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4.95 from 105 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

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

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.

Nutrition

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

  1. The cumin over powered all other flavors. This was a complete waste of ingredients. I would not recommend.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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. ;)

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

  6. This was SO good. Everyone loved it

  7. 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. 

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.
    Amen

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  13. 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!

  14. 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.

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

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  18. 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.

  19. 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. 

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!! 

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

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

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

  31. 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:)

  32. 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  ^_^

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

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

  35. 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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  37. Simmer for 3 hours, added beef bouillon powder….

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

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

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

  42. 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!

  43. 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!

  44. 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!

  45. 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!

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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!

  50. 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.

  51. 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!

  52. 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.

  53. 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!!!

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

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

  57. 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.

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

  59. 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!

  60. 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

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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

  64. 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.

  65. 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

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

  67. 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! 

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

    Sincerely,

  70. 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. :) )

  71. 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.

  72. its going to be great Thanks

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  74. 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

  75. 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

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

  77. 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.

  78. 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!

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

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

  82. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

  88. 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. =)

  89. great soup !!!!!!

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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. 

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

  95. 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!

  96. Delicious recipe

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

  98. 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 😃

  99. 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!

    • Hi Lisa,

      If the beans have cooked long enough, their starches should thicken the soup. You can always omit the crushed red pepper to remove the spicy heat. So very glad you liked it!

    • You remove some of the beans and puree them then add them back into the soup. Don’t add all of the amount of spices suggested, only half. You can always add more later. You can dice potatoes to put into your soup too. 😊

    • An easy way to thicken the soup is to add instant potato flakes.  They can be found in any grocery store

    • 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!

  100. This is the second time I’m making this! And definitely not the last! Big hit in my house. Yummy, yum, yum! Thanks so much to the author of this blog and owner of this amazing Soup! Perfect for a snowy cold day!

  101. Easy to prepare recipe that the family loved, thank you! Will be saving this recipe to make again.

  102. I used heirloom beans from bobs red mill. Soup tastes fantastic. I also made the soup for my dad! Easy goodness!

  103. Hello. This soup looks great.  I want to make it tomorrow for my dad. He will absolutely love this. but I need to be out until about a half hour before dinner.  Can this soup be made in a crock pot instead? 

  104. Yum! I had a giant ham given to me as a Christmas gift… Way too much ham for my 3 person family. We’ve been eating ham for days! I made this recipe tonight using the bone and some of the leftover ham (soaked beans since last night). Delicious! My husband said I outdid myself. Which is funny because this recipe could not be any easier!

  105. My husband and I love baked ham so I always have ham bones in my freezer. i usually make split pea soup but I wanted to try navy bean so I tried your recipe. I LOVED it!! It was easy and I had all the ingredients in my pantry. I’ll be checking out your other recipes. Thanks and Happy New Year!!

  106. Can you please fix this recipe. It calls for the following:

    2 teaspoons
    1/2 – 1 teaspoons

    But it doesn’t say what the ingredients are.
    Thanks

    • John,
      It is 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
      1/2-1 teaspoons of crushed red pepper

      they are listed as a hyper link, might be why you can’t see

  107. Hello,
    I do not have time to soak my beans. Can I buy the buy the big jar of navy beans?

  108. The soup turned out delicious, much to my surprise! I did add a tomato sliced and cubed. Also, I put a half stick of Kerigold butter and about 1 1/2 tablespoons if ‘It Is Better than Boullion’. I may have used a little more Thyme than a tablespoon. I would have preferred it a little thicker, but it is scrumptious! Thank you!

    • My family loves bean soup and my son said this one was the best I’ve ever made. I didn’t use the red peeper flakes because some of us don’t like spicy and I cooked it in the crock pot but overall a great recipe base 

  109. Yummy…. I came from a family of 8 so we survived on casseroles and hearty soups. I didn’t like very much of our supper offerings but I do have fond memories of Navy bean soup & chili. I have tried a couple previous attempts at navy bean soup and not been pleased. This one hit the mark perfectly. I did add the celery & carrots. I was surprised about how much spice the red pepper flakes added, but I liked it . I live alone so I had to freeze most of it, but it freezes well. Now if you can give me a good chili recipe I would be very grateful :)

  110. Nanas epic navy bean soup with ham hocks. Bad, bad experience. I am totally lost now. Im a husband/father and l do all the cooking in my familly. I want navy bean soup so last night l go get all the ingredience at Big Y. I soak my beans last night to this morning. That would be about 14 hours. I follow Nanas reciepy to a T. 7 hours and the navy beans are almost as hard as when l started. So, l go back to the store and buy all the ingredience again. But this time l have no time to soak over night. Now l do the next best thing. Rince, bring to boil for 5 minites remove from heat, rest 1 hour then rince again and start over again. Well ,4 hours later and beans are hard again. Not as hard as before but hard. Whats wrong. What happened.? Was it the beans or something l did? Help!was to make for company tonight now what?

  111. Holy moly!!! This soup is DELICIOUS!! Thank you for the recipe! Easy to make too! I’ll never get a ham without a bone now! ;)

  112. Good day Sommer!
    I made Nana’s Epic bean soup on Saturday and truly, you need to add one more word to the description. AWESOME EPIC BEAN SOUP! I did use a ham hock and the cut up ham steak but cut back on the spices a bit as I was bringing some to an elderly friend Belive me, a half tsp. of red pepper flakes was perfect for my taste. I did add one small bay leaf and only a 1/4 tsp of the cumin. I did add the veggies and threw in a can of petite diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used chicken stock and water to make up the 10 cups). My house smelled amazing during the process of cooking. I have some left over which I froze. I was a rainy Saturday and cold so this soup was perfect for warming your insides! OH! I made home made cheddar corn bread to go along …. for a Yankee that grew up in Brooklyn NY I have adapted well here in the South. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  113. I love the spices in this recipe-very tasty!

  114. Love the recipe Sommer , especially the addition of the celery and carrots. Could you use a ham hock instead of the ham bone?

    • Hi Doris,

      Absolutely! Let me know how it turns out. :)

      • HI Sommer!
        Thanks for the fast reply. I got my beans soaking right now for tomorrow and can not wait to make this! I did buy an ham steak to cut up but will use the ham hock too. I will surely let you know how it turned out! Blessings and enjoy your weekend.

  115. Can this be frozen 

  116. This was amazing!!! The cumin and crushed pepper gives it just the right kick! I come from the same background. A whole lot of leftover/repurposing. From chicken carcasses to short ribs… some fond memories from very frugal sources!!!

  117. This was good! I soaked the beans overnight then made it in the crockpot. My family all had 2nd servings. I reduced water to 8 cups and added 2.5 tbsp of chicken bouillon. I also sauteed carrots and added them at the end because sauce was too thin. I will be making again. Thanks for sharing!

  118. That looks Delicious; especially on this chilly morning.
    What a wonderful childhood memory to warm the soul.
    I remember my mother making this when I was a kid; only she did add diced potatoes to make more filling and for it to go further for our family of 6