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White soup bowl filled with navy bean soup made with chunks of leftover ham, cooked navy beans, and fresh thyme in a light broth.
5 from 2 votes

Navy Bean Soup with Ham

This Navy Bean Soup with Ham is a simple, hearty, and flavorful bean soup recipe filled with leftover ham and tender cooked navy beans. Perfect for lunch or dinner with a side of buttery bread.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 293kcal


  • 1 lb dried navy beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ham bone with scraps (see notes)
  • 8-12 cups water or half water half low-sodium chicken broth


  • Soak your beans overnight. Transfer the dried beans to a large bowl and add water so that it is covered by approximately 3 inches. Allow the beans to soak overnight or up to 24 hours (see notes below for the "quick-soak" option).
  • Add the olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent (about 6-8 minutes). Add the minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and cook, stirring continuously, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaf, drained beans, ham bone, ham scraps, and 10 cups of water (you can add more if needed). Bring to a boil then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for at least 1-2 hours, or until the beans are very soft.
  • Remove the bone and allow it to cool slightly. Use a fork or knife to remove any additional meat from the ham bone. Discard the bone.
  • Serve garnished with additional salt and pepper, to taste.


  • Careful not to add too much salt until the end of cooking as ham is naturally very salty.
  • If you forget to soak your beans overnight, you can "quick-soak" them by placing them in a large pot or saucepan with 1 tablespoon of salt and 8 cups of water (per 1 pound of beans). Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, cover, and allow them to soak for about an hour. Drain and rinse before cooking.
  • If you don't have a ham bone or leftover ham to use for this soup, you may replace it with thick-cut bacon, pork belly, or ham sold at the grocery store. You may also find smoked ham hocks for sale also.


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 959mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 5mg
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