clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Traditional Navy Bean Soup in a blue bowl with spoon.

Navy Bean Soup is a Traditional Favorite

  • Author: Kevin Mayfield
  • Prep Time: 4 Hours
  • Cook Time: 1 3/4 Hours
  • Total Time: 14 minute
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This hearty American classic soup eats like a meal and was a favorite of mid century cooks. It is simple to make and keeps well overnight for leftovers.



1 cup dried white beans

8 cups water

1 small piece of salt port or ham bone

1 small yellow onion, minced

1 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons of flour

 1/4 cup celery leaves

salt to taste 


  1. Rinse the beans in a colander and pick out any that look bad. Soak in cold water for 4 hours or longer. 
  2. Drain the beans, put them in a large pot. Add the 8 cups of water and the salt pork or ham hock to the pot. Simmer on low heat until ham beans are soft (about 1-1/2 hours)
  3. Brown the minced onion in butter, then add it to the soup with the celery leaves and cook for an additional 15 minutes
  4. Mix the flour in a little cold water until fully dissolved, then stir it in to soup.
  5. If desired, add a little water or milk to the pot until soup is desired consistency. Add salt to taste, if necessary. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat to serve.


Modern twist:  You can give the flavor of this very traditional recipe a pop by adding 1-2 cloves of garlic and a sprig of thyme.

To make it a more substantial meal, add a half cup of chopped or shredded carrots and 1-2 chopped russet potatoes and serve with chopped ham.

Soak the beans for 4 hours or overnight in cold water to reduce the prep time.

Make several hours or a day before serving to allow flavors to soak in. 

Kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the soup will keep for 3-5 days.

Keywords: Navy Bean Soup, Hearty, Beans, Ham