Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (2024)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Is there anything more comforting and satisfying than homemade Navy Bean Soup? This easy stovetop recipe combines soaked dried navy beans with smoked ham hocks, vegetables, broth, seasonings, and a secret ingredient at the end.

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (1)

The result is an incredibly satisfying meal that tastes even better the next day! This recipe can easily be adapted to the slow cooker or Instant Pot and I explain how to do that below.

Table of Contents

  • Why I love this recipe
  • Ingredients needed to make navy bean soup
  • How to make homemade navy bean soup
    • Soak beans:
    • Cook Soup:
    • Serve
  • How to make navy bean soup in the slow cooker
  • How to make navy bean soup in the Instant Pot
  • Substitutions
  • Storage and Reheating recommendations
  • FAQs
  • Navy Bean Soup Recipe

Why I love this recipe

  • Each bite has a little bit of everything – tender beans that are full of protein and fiber, flavorful vegetables, tasty little bits of ham, and a savory broth
  • Freezes well – This is one of those soups that can easily be frozen and reheated for a future meal.
  • Easy to make – No cooking experience is needed with this easy-to-follow recipe
  • Versatile – Many of the ingredients can easily be swapped out with something else and even the cooking method is easily modified.

Ingredients needed to make navy bean soup

Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here’s what you’ll need to put on your shopping list.

  • dried navy beans
  • onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • smoked ham hocks
  • chicken broth
  • dried oregano andground nutmeg
  • bay leaves
  • apple cider vinegar(the secret ingredient)
  • saltand freshly ground black pepper
Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (2)

How to make homemade navy bean soup

Soak beans:

  • Soak:Rinse and sort the navy beans. Discard any that don’t look right. Soak the dry beans overnight in cold water; about 8 cups of water should be enough. Alternatively, do a quick-soak by covering them with about 2-inches of water in a large pot, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat, let them soak, covered, for an hour.
  • Drain and rinse:Drain the navy beans and discard the soaking liquid.

Cook Soup:

  • Sauté veggies:In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stove top, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in butter. Stir only occasionally to prevent burning. Allow them to cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Combine ingredients:Add rinsed soaked beans to the pot. Use a sharp knife to make cuts in the ham hock and place it in the pot. Add the liquid (chicken stock, water, vegetable broth – whatever combination you choose) and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen anything that may have stuck. Then, add the oregano, nutmeg, and bay leaves. Do not add the apple cider vinegar yet.
  • Simmer:Bring soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Do not cover. As the soup cooks and the liquid evaporates, heat may need to be reduced to maintain a gentle simmer. After about an hour of cooking, remove the ham hock and transfer it to a cutting board (look ahead to the next step). Cook until beans are tender, about 90 minutes to two hours. It may take less time depending on how soft the beans got after your soak.
  • Cut ham:As soon as the ham hock is cool enough to handle, cut any meat into small pieces and return to soup. Discard any skin, fat, and bones.
  • Add the secret ingredient:When the beans are completely soft and the soup is ready to eat, stir in the apple cider vinegar. Taste, and add salt and pepper, as desired.

Serve

Remove the bay leaf and enjoy with cornbread.v

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (3)
Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (4)
Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (5)
Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (6)
Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (7)
Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (8)

How to make navy bean soup in the slow cooker

This is a great dump-and-cook crock pot recipe. Soak the beans first. No need to sauté vegetables. Cook in the crockpot on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours.

Slow cooker navy bean soup might just be the best thing to come home to on a cold winter day.

How to make navy bean soup in the Instant Pot

Here’s the best part about making this soup in the electric pressure cooker – you don’t need to soak the beans. Instead, you can place the dried navy beans in the pressure cooker with the chicken broth and the ham hocks. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes.

Then, you can either transfer that mixture to another vessel while you saute the vegetables in the Instant Pot, or you can just add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking the soup on high pressure for another 10 minutes or so.

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (9)

Substitutions

  • Ham bones with some meat can be used instead if the ham hocks, if desired. This is a great option if you have leftover holiday ham from Christmas or Easter.
  • You need a total of 12 cups of liquid. I found equal parts of chicken broth and water worked perfectly, but you can also use vegetable broth in addition or in lieu of either the water or chicken broth. Any combination will work as long as the total volume is 12 cups.
  • I used only navy beans, but you can easily swap with a mixture of beans or pre-made mixes that can usually be found in the bulk aisle at the grocery store.

Storage and Reheating recommendations

Any leftover soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 3-5 days. This navy bean soup recipe freezes well if you’re into meal planning.
To reheat, thaw completely if it was frozen first. Then gently warm over low heat in a pot on the stove or reheat in the microwave in one minute increments while stirring frequently.

FAQs

Do you have to soak navy beans for soup?

ou don’t have to, but soaking them reduces their cooking time. Soaking them first will allow the beans to cook at the same rate as everything else in the soup. To soak, dry navy beans must be submerged in water overnight. You can also do a quick soak by covering the dried beans with boiling water for an hour.

Are navy beans the same as Great Northern Beans?

No. Navy beans, Great Northern beans, and cannellini beans are all varieties of white beans, but they are different. That being said, you can make this soup with any variety of bean or a combination of beans.

What can you substitute for the ham hocks?

If you don’t want to use ham hocks or can’t find them at your local butcher, you can definitely use leftover ham or a ham steak. The soup will have the most rich flavor if you use a leftover ham bone. This method is a great way to use up your leftovers from your Easter or Christmas ham dinner.

How healthy is navy bean soup?

This soup has everything you want in a healthy hearty meal. It is a great source of protein and fiber and will leave you feeling full.

How can you thicken navy bean soup?

To thicken bean and ham soup, you can process about 2 cups of the soup in the blender and mix it back in or use an immersion blender to partially blend.

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (10)

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It

Navy Bean Soup

Prep10 minutes mins

Cook2 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

soak time1 hour hr

Total3 hours hrs 20 minutes mins

Servings 6 servings

Author Krissy Allori

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (11)

Rate

Print

This easy stovetop recipe combines soaked dried navy beans with smoked ham hocks, vegetables, broth, seasonings, and a secret ingredient at the end.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks okay if larger, score with sharp knife
  • 6 cups chicken broth see note below
  • 6 cups water see note below
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to be stirred in at the end
  • kosher salt Taste before adding salt. Depending on the saltiness of the ham, you might not even need any, but if you do add salt, start with a small amount and adjust after tasting.
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Soak beans:

  • Soak: Rinse and sort the navy beans. Discard any that don't look right. Soak overnight in cold water. Alternatively, do a quick-soak by covering them with about 2-inches of water in a large pot, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat, let them soak, covered, for an hour.

  • Drain and rinse: Drain the navy beans and discard the soaking liquid.

Cook Soup:

  • Sauté veggies: In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in butter. Stir only occasionally to prevent burning. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

    Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (12)

  • Combine ingredients: Add rinsed soaked beans to the pot. Use a sharp knife to make cuts in the ham hock and place it in the pot. Add the liquid (chicken broth, water, vegetable broth – whatever combination you choose), oregano, nutmeg, and bay leaves. Do not add the apple cider vinegar.

    Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (13)

  • Simmer: Bring soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Do not cover. As the soup cooks and the liquid evaporates, heat may need to be reduced to maintain a gentle simmer. After about an hour of cooking, remove the ham hock and transfer it to a cutting board (look ahead to next step). Cook until beans are tender, about 90 minutes to two hours. It may take less time depending on how soft the beans got after your soak.

    Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (14)

  • Cut ham: As soon as the ham hock is cool enough to handle, cut any meat into small pieces and return to soup. Discard any skin, fat, and bones.

    Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (15)

  • Add the secret ingredient: When the beans are completely soft and the soup is ready to eat, stir in the apple cider vinegar. Taste, and add salt and pepper, as desired. To thicken, you can process about 2 cups of the soup in the blender and mix it back in.

    Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (16)

  • To serve: Remove bay leaves and enjoy with cornbread.

Notes

Substitutions:

  • Ham bones with some meat can be used instead if the ham hocks, if desired. This is a great option if you have leftover holiday ham from Christmas or Easter.
  • You need a total of 12 cups of liquid. I found equal parts of chicken broth and water worked perfectly, but you can also use vegetable broth in addition or in lieu of either the water or chicken broth. Any combination will work as long as the total volume is 12 cups.
  • I used only navy beans, but you can easily swap with a mixture of beans or pre-made mixes that can usually be found in the bulk aisle at the grocery store.

Slow cooker modification:Soak the beans first. No need to sauté vegetables. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours.

Recipe Tips:

  • Soaking the beans: You do not have to soak the beans, however, it is highly recommended because it shortens the amount of time they need to cook. You can soften them overnight in cold water or do a quick soak by bringing them to a boil, removing them from heat, and letting them sit, covered, for an hour. Always discard the soaking water and rinse the beans before adding them to the soup.
  • Canned beans are an option if they are drained and rinsed, however, they are not preferred because of how soft they are.
  • To thicken: Run about 2 cups of the cooked bean soup through the blender and stir into the soup.
  • Optional – add tomatoes: Some people like to add a can of tomatoes to their navy bean soup. If you do, you must add them after the beans have cooked. If tomatoes are added early in the recipe, the acidity in the tomatoes may result in crunchy beans, no matter how long you cook them. Additional salt will also be needed.
  • Use less liquid: If you would prefer the consistency to be closer to chili or baked beans, reduce the total amount of liquid from 12 cups down to 8 cups.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 1034mg, Potassium: 1274mg, Fiber: 20g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 6144IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 164mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me acomment below

Dinner Fall Recipes One Pot Meals Pork Soup

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (17)

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

More About Me

You May Also Like

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Beef and Broccoli

Easy Sloppy Joes

One Spoon Dry Rub

Homemade Navy Bean Soup Recipe with Ham Hocks (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 6375

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Birthday: 1996-05-10

Address: Apt. 425 4346 Santiago Islands, Shariside, AK 38830-1874

Phone: +96313309894162

Job: Legacy Sales Designer

Hobby: Baseball, Wood carving, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Lacemaking, Parkour, Drawing

Introduction: My name is Dean Jakubowski Ret, I am a enthusiastic, friendly, homely, handsome, zealous, brainy, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.