Navy Bean Soup

This Navy Bean Soup recipe is hearty, comforting and the best way to use up leftover ham!  It can be made with hambone, chopped ham or even shredded chicken and bacon (like pictured here).  It is loaded with navy beans, ham (or chicken), potatoes, carrots, celery, fennel, onions, garlic and chives for complex, rich, satisfying spoonfuls.  This Navy Bean and Ham Soup can be made with dried navy beans or canned navy beans and it can be made on the stove or in the crockpot – I’ve included directions for both; now there is no reason not to enjoy this wonderfully savory, smoky, salty Navy Bean and Ham Soup recipe!

up close of a bowl of easy navy bean and ham soup with bacon

Navy Bean Soup recipe

Whether you have leftover nearly naked holiday ham in your refrigerator at this moment or simply want to devour a satisfying, easy soup, this Navy Bean Soup Recipe is for you! It is the absolute best way to clean out the fridge and it’s economical too!

This Navy Bean Soup is rich, slightly smoky with layers of creamy beans and potatoes.  It is deeply satisfying and waiting for YOU! 

I’ve included lots of tips and tricks below so you can make the perfect Navy Bean Soup based on your personal preference, time constraints and ingredients on hand!

Let’s get cooking – so you can get eating this fabulous Navy Bean and Ham Soup!

What Ingredients for Navy Bean Soup?

  • NAVY BEANS! Navy Beans are also known as: haricot, pearl haricot bean, Boston bean, white pea bean, pea bean, or I often see them labeled simply “white beans” when canned. Navy beans are small white beans, much smaller than great northern beans or cannellini beans. Navy beans boast a distinguishable nutty, earthy flavor. For this Navy Bean Soup recipe, you can use dried beans for their more creamy, pure bean flavor without becoming mushy or you can use canned beans if you’re in a hurry. I’ve detailed them both below.
  • Ham: You can use ham to make Navy Bean and Ham Soup or use chicken. If using ham, you can use the leftover meaty ham bone from your Easter or Christmas ham (YAY for leftovers) or you can visit the deli department and ask for ½ pound ham sliced into 1/4″ slices. then slice them the other direction to make cubed ham.
  • Chicken: I also LOVE this Navy Bean with chicken and bacon instead of ham. I usually use shredded rotisserie chicken but you can also use 1 pound uncooked chicken breasts or thighs. If using chicken breasts or thighs, add the pieces whole and let them simmer in the soup until tender then remove to a plate to shred.
  • Bacon: use thick cut bacon for its meaty texture. I added bacon because I used chicken this particular go around, but you can skip it if you choose to use ham. But then again, bacon makes everything better! You will also use the bacon grease for its fabulous flavor instead of butter or olive oil. If you skip the bacon, you will want to use 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil or a combination to sauté the vegetables in.
  • Onion: one large yellow onion will do the trick!
  • Garlic: use more or less depending on your garlic love.
  • Fennel: I am a huge fennel fan and love it in this Navy Bean Soup. If you’ve never cooked with fennel, please don’t be intimidated. Your should be able to find it in the produce section of your grocery store, if not, specialty produce stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. definitely have it.  You will purchase the whole fennel but we are going to use just the bulb, so chop off the fennel stalks at their base where they join the bulb.
  • Celery and carrots: you will want to chop your celery and carrots into about 1/4-1/2″ pieces.  You can purchase pre-chopped carrots and celery if you would like to save time or chop them beforehand.
  • Potatoes: I prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for this Navy Bean Soup for their soft, buttery flavor. Yukon gold potatoes are waxy potatoes so they retain their shape and don’t fall apart when cooked for prolonged periods of time as opposed to Russet potatoes that will fall apart and become mealy tasting when overcooked.
  • Chicken broth: please use REDUCED SODIUM chicken broth or your soup will be way too salty if you choose to add ham. You may use vegetable broth as well but chicken broth has more flavor.
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes: I get this question all the time so let me assure you that fire roasted tomatoes are NOT spicy – the fire simply means they have been roasted. This gives them a delightful smokiness and more complex, less tangy flavor than traditional diced tomatoes. If you can’t find fire roasted diced tomatoes, than traditional diced tomatoes work just fine.
a spoon in white sup pot of old fashioned navy bean soup

WHAT SEASONINGS FOR NAVY BEAN SOUP?

Navy Bean Soup needs seasonings to come alive and to not taste like salty, one note soup.  After all, we are going for the BEST Navy Bean Soup here!

For the rich, multi-dimensional flavor, we need help from aromatic, spices, and herbs. 

Aromatics:  onions, garlic and fennel sweat together to create a complex flavor base.  The fennel imparts a subtle sweet, bright, herby, slightly tangy flavor.  Please don’t skip the fennel – it is one of my favorite flavors of this Ham and Bean Soup!

Spices: We add smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, pepper and dried mustard to enliven the soup with their kickin’ flavors.  The smoked paprika also ads a little smokiness.  I don’t think the red pepper flakes make the soup spicy, but you can add to taste. 

Salt: ham can be VERY salty so I have not included salt in the recipe BUT everything needs salt to taste flavorful. I advise making the recipe without salt and salting to taste at the very end.  You may need up to 1 teaspoon salt depending on your protein.  Use a little at a time and proceed with caution. 

Herbs:  Dried parsley,  dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme all impart glorious earthiness.  The fresh chives added to the Navy Bean Soup at the very end brighten the soup with their delicate, onion-garlic flavor.  

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Transforming Navy Bean Soup into Navy Bean and Ham Soup is a fantastic way to reinvent the holiday favorite. Here are a few things to look out for when cooking soup with hambone:

  • Start with a meaty hambone. The meat left on the bone will be all that’s left once you remove the bone so don’t trim it too much before using.
  • Remove fat: You will want to scrape off excess fat so your soup isn’t swimming in grease or so no one bites into an unappetizing chewy piece of fat.
  • Rinse hambone. It is important to rinse the hambone to remove:
    • glaze: If you’re using an Easter ham, it likely coated in a sweet glaze. You want to rinse the glaze off so you’re left with pure ham flavor.
    • salt: ham can be incredibly salty. Rinsing off the salt allows you to salt to taste instead of of your soup being too salty.
side far away view of a big pot of old fashioned navy bean and ham soup with bacon

Why Make Navy Bean Soup with Dried Beans?

You can make Navy Bean Soup with dried beans or canned beans, but if you have the option – go for dried!

  • Dried navy beans have a better texture. They emerge wonderfully creamy without becoming mushy, falling apart or losing their skins.
  • Dried navy beans boast a more authentic, pure flavor because they haven’t been sitting in cans for months.
  • Dried beans absorb the soup liquid as they cook so they become flavorful through and through.
  • Dried navy beans are more economical.
  • Dried navy beans reduces sodium.

How do you Soak Navy Beans for Soup?

The method and ingredients for making Navy Bean Soup with dried beans is similar to canned beans. The main difference is you need to soak the dried beans and they take longer to cook. Here is how to soak dried navy beans:

  • Pick through beans: make sure you give the beans a good comb through to remove any pebbles or rocks.
  • Soak navy beans: dried beans should be soaked in about 3 inches of water for 8-24 hours.
  • Rapid soak: if you don’t have time to soak your beans for hours, or simply forgot, you can use the rapid soak method which cuts the soaking time down to one hour. To do this, add dried beans to a large saucepan and cover with with triple their volume of cold water. Bring to a boil then set your timer for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and proceed to let the beans soak in the same pan for one hour.
  • Rinse beans: after the beans have soaked, give them a good rinse in fresh water.
  • Add water: we need to add additional water to the soup when using dried beans because they will soak up water as they cook as opposed to canned beans.

up close of a bowl of easy navy bean and ham soup with potatoes

How to Make Navy Bean Soup with Canned Beans

You can definitely make this Navy Bean Soup with canned beans – and it will take you less than 30 minutes!  Here are a few things to look out for:

  • You will need three (15 oz.)  cans of navy beans.  They are often labeled “white beans” at the store. 
  • If you can’t find navy beans, you can use your favorite beans such as cannellini beans, great northern, pinto, etc., or a mix. 
  • Rinse the beans very well to remove excess salt.
  • You will not need to add the water in the recipe when using canned beans as they will not absorb the water like dried beans. 

Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup

The EASIEST way to make this Navy Bean Soup is in the slow cooker! This is a great option because you don’t have to spend any time over the stove sautéing your veggies – just cooking bacon if that’s your thing – and bacon is always my thing.

To make Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup, soak the beans, add them  to the slow cooker along with chicken broth, water, broth, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, fennel, garlic, bay leaf and all seasonings as well as whatever protein you decide to use.  

Give everything a good stir and cook until the beans are tender. This is about 5 hours on high or 7-9 hours on low. You’ll know your Navy Bean and Ham Soup is done when the beans and vegetables are tender.

EVERY slow cooker is different, however, so always check your recipe on the early side of the time window when making for the first time and allow some wiggle room. I never suggest making a recipe for the first time when you need it done by a specific time. I had 13 crockpots cooking in my home for a dinner function – and every one was done at different times! Moral of the story – there is no hard line here. Make the Navy Bean Soup and see what timing works for YOU.

What CAN I PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME?

This Navy Bean Soup is mostly dump and simmer, but it does require some planning and chopping if using dried beans.  To save you time, you can prep the following ahead of time: 

  • Soak Beans:  If you plan on using dried beans, they require at least 8 hours to soak.  You can either start them soaking the night before or first thing in the morning.  If you forget to soak your beans, however, use the rapid soak method described above. 
  • Protein:  If you choose hambone, you can prep it by rinsing and scraping off fat; for chopped ham, you can chop your slices; for shredded chicken, you can separate it from the rotisserie chicken; for bacon, you can cook and chop it entirely before hand and store in an airtight container.  Store all prepared proteins in the refrigerator. 
  • Chop Veggies:  You can chop your onions, fennel, garlic, and carrots ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  You can also chop your potatoes but they will need to be stored submerged in
    a bowl of water in the refrigerator or else they will turn brown.
  • Store-Bought Mirepoix:  (pronounced “meer-pwah”), is a French term for the combination of diced carrots, onions and celery sautéed in butter/olive oil.  You can buy mirepoix by the jar and keep it in your refrigerator for  dinner shortcuts.  I believe Trader Joes carries a good mirepoix blend.  
  • Spices:  It doesn’t take long to measure out the spices, but you can certainly do it beforehand and store the mix in an airtight bag or container. 

]

far away top view of navy bean and ham soup

navy bean soup recipe variations

  • Do I have to use ham?  Nope!  You can use chicken and bacon or just chicken or mix it up with turkey, smoked sausage, Italian sausage or ground beef!  
  • Can I use different beans?  Well, it won’t be Navy Bean Soup without navy beans, but this soup will still work with other beans, or a mixture of  few. 
  • Can I make Navy Soup vegetarian?  Absolutely!  i would suggest adding some liquid smoke to give it a smoky depth.  I would also add additional vegetable such as spinach, peas, etc. (you would add both of these at the end simmering).  
  • Can I use different vegetables?  I would keep with the magic mirepoix trio of carrots, celery and onions but beyond that, use your imagination! You can add spinach and peas as previously mentioned or whatever leftover veggies you have on hand – sweet potatoes, zucchini, corn, mushrooms, green beans etc.
  • Can I use freezer veggies? For an easy shortcut, you can use frozen vegetable medleys and add to the soup with the potatoes.  No need to thaw.
  • Can I add rice?  Yes!  add 1 cup long grain white rice (I recommend basmati for the best texture) the last 10-12 minutes of cooking (must be simmered on the stove). You will need to add additional broth to accommodate the rice.  You may also stir in any cooked rice at the end of cooking.
  • Can I add pasta? Certainly!  Add short pasta noodles to the pot while simmering on the stove the last 10 minute or so. Again, add additional broth to the Dutch oven as needed to compensate for the pasta. 

Tips and Tricks for the Best Navy Bean and Ham Soup

  • How do I thicken Navy Bean Soup?  The soup should be quite thick after simmering but if you would like it even thicker, then you can mash some of the beans and potatoes directly in the soup pot or make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup beef broth or water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Whisk it into the soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Consistency: This Navy Bean Soup is on the thick side – just how I like it, but if you would like it less “chunky” simply add additional water to thin to desired consistency at the end of cooking.
  • Can I half this recipe? Absolutely!  This Navy Bean and Ham Soup makes quite a lot of soup so feel free to halve it to meet your needs. 
  • Is Navy Bean Soup gluten free?  Yes!  We are not using any flour, pasta, etc. so as long as your leftover ham is gluten free (the glaze), then your entire soup will be gluten free.
  • Can I make Navy Bean Soup ahead of time?  Yes! The soup only tastes better the next day as the flavors have time to build so this soup is a fantastic make and reheat option. 

a big white pot of navy bean soup with canned beans

What to Serve with Navy Bean Soup?

This Navy Bean Soup is hearty and comforting full of protein, carbs and veggies, so it doesn’t need much as far as sides go.  I love serving it with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or cornbread along with big green salad, or wedge salad,and fruit salad.  

NAVY BEAN SOUP STORAGE

Navy Bean Soup should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator.  When properly stored, it is good for 3-5 days.

HOW DO I REHEAT NAVY BEAN AND HAM SOUP?

For large quantities, heat Navy Bean Soup in the crockpot or on the stove.  Reserve the microwave for smaller quantities.  You will likely need to add additional water or broth in every method to thin soup:

  • Crockpot: Add Navy Bean Soup to slow cooker (or refrigerate soup in the crockpot ceramic insert if you made it in the slow cooker).   Heat on low for 1-2 hours.  
  • Stove: Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the Navy Bean Soup is heated to 165 degrees F.
  • Microwave: Transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel.  Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.

CAN I FREEZE NAVY BEAN AND HAM SOUP?

The potatoes in this Navy Bean Soup do not freeze well.  They break down and become an unpleasant, mealy texture. So, if you are planning on freezing this soup, then I would omit the potatoes. 

To freeze Navy Bean Soup:

  1. Cool: Allow soup to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients and to prevent bacteria growth.
  2. Package:  Transfer soup to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag.  You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual soup portions.  Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label.
  3. Freeze. Freeze soup for up to 3 months.
  4. Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.

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up close of a spoonful of navy bean soup with canned beans

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Navy Bean Soup

This Navy Bean Soup recipe is hearty, comforting and the best way to use up leftover ham!  It can be made with hambone, chopped ham or even shredded chicken and bacon (like pictured here).  It is loaded with navy beans, ham (or chicken), potatoes, carrots, celery, fennel, onions, garlic and chives for complex, rich, satisfying spoonfuls.  This Navy Bean and Ham Soup can be made with dried navy beans or canned navy beans and it can be made on the stove or in the crockpot – I’ve included directions for both; now there is no reason not to enjoy this wonderfully savory, smoky, salty Navy Bean and Ham Soup recipe!
Servings: 8 -10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried white navy beans OR 3 (15 oz.) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz. bacon, finely chopped optional (recommend if using chicken)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups Yukon gold potatoes chopped into 1/2” cubes
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • water in directions
  • 1 tsp EACH ground (dried) mustard, dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • one meaty ham bone OR 2 ½ cups chopped ham or shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • salt to taste will depend on if using salty ham or chicken

Instructions

DIRECTIONS FOR NAVY BEAN SOUP WITH DRIED BEANS

  • Add dried beans to a large bowl cover with three inches of water. Soak the beans 8-24 hours (easiest to do overnight). When ready to use, drain beans in a colander, rinse and remove any debris.
  • Optional: Heat a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, approximately 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot.
  • If not using bacon, melt 1 tablespoon butter with one tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions, fennel, celery and carrots and cook at medium-low until translucent and tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes (we are sweating the vegetables- they will not turn golden). Increase heat to medium high and add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Reduce heat to low and add beans, hambone or chicken/ham, chicken broth, 2 cups of water, diced tomatoes and all seasonings. Bring the soup to a full boil then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 60 minutes, removing the lid to stir and replacing it occasionally.
  • After 60 minutes, add potatoes and continue to gently simmer, covered, for an additional 30-60 minutes or until beans and potatoes are tender. Add additional water if it evaporates too much.
  • Once tender, if using a hambone, remove it from the soup and chop off any ham and add the meat back to the soup.
  • Add additional water to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt to taste (this will depend on how salty your ham is). If using chicken, you will definitely want to add salt. Top with bacon and chives.

DIRECTIONS FOR NAVY SOUP WITH CANNED BEANS

  • Optional: Heat a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, approximately 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot.
  • If not using bacon, melt 1 tablespoon butter with one tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions, fennel, celery and carrots and cook at medium-low until translucent and tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes (we are sweating the vegetables- they will not turn golden). Increase heat to medium high and add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Reduce heat to low and add hambone or chicken/ham, chicken broth, potatoes, diced tomatoes and all seasonings. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add canned beans and heat through.
  • Meanwhile, if using a hambone, remove it from the soup and chop off any ham and add the meat back to the soup.
  • Add additional water to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt to taste (this will depend on how salty your ham is). If using chicken, you will definitely want to add salt. Top with bacon and chives.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

  • Add dried beans to a large bowl cover with three inches of water. Soak the beans 8-24 hours (easiest to do overnight). When ready to use, drain beans in a colander, rinse and remove any debris.
  • Add beans and all ingredients EXCEPT bacon to a 6-quart slow cooker including 2 cups of water; stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH 4-5 hours or LOW 7 to 9 hours or until beans are tender.
  • If using a hambone, remove it from the soup and chop off any ham and add the meat back to the soup.
  • Optional: Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy, approximately 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add additional water to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt to taste (this will depend on how salty your ham is). If using chicken, you will definitely want to add salt. Top with bacon and chives.

Notes

Tips for Using Hambone:

  • Start with a meaty hambone. The meat left on the bone will be all that's left once you remove the bone so don't trim it too much before using.
  • Remove fat: You will want to scrape off excess fat so your soup isn't greasy and so no one bites into an unappetizing chewy piece of fat.
  • Rinse hambone. It is important to rinse the hambone to remove:
    • glaze: If you're using an Easter ham, it likely coated in a sweet glaze. You want to rinse the glaze off so you're left with pure ham flavor.
    • salt: ham can be incredibly salty. Rinsing off the salt allows you to salt to taste instead of of your soup being too salty.

 How to Soak Dried Navy Beans

  • Pick through beans: make sure you give the beans a good comb through to remove any pebbles or rocks.
  • Soak navy beans: dried beans should be soaked in about 3 inches of water for 8-24 hours.
  • Rapid soak: if you don't have time to soak your beans for hours, or simply forgot, you can use the rapid soak method which cuts the soaking time down to one hour. To do this, add dried beans to a large saucepan and cover with with triple their volume of cold water. Bring to a boil then set your timer for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and proceed to let the beans soak in the same pan for one hour.
  • Rinse beans: after the beans have soaked, give them a good rinse in fresh water.
  • Add water: we need to add additional water to the soup when using dried beans because they will soak up water as they cook as opposed to canned beans.
Fennel: I am a huge fennel fan and love it in this Navy Bean Soup. If you've never cooked with fennel, please don't be intimidated. Your should be able to find it in the produce section of your grocery store, if not, specialty produce stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. definitely have it.  You will purchase the whole fennel but we are going to use just the bulb, so chop off the fennel stalks at their base where they join the bulb.

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18 Comments

  1. Nicole says

    I made your Brown Sugar Ham again for Easter and it was wonderful! Now I know just what to do with the leftovers. Thank you for all the wonderful details. Your recipes never disappoint!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Nicole! I’m so pleased you loved the ham and now it will keep giving with this Navy Bean Soup! I hope you love it as much as us!

  2. Vivian says

    I would like to make this wonderful-sounding soup in my Instant Pot…any ideas?

    • Jen says

      Sorry Vivian, I am not a instant pot expert yet – working on it!

  3. Lauren says

    I love the detailed explanations of your recipes! My leftover Easter ham needed to be used and I was tired of ham sandwiches. I went with the crockpot method and the house smelled wonderful. Fortunately, the soup tasted as good as it smelled! Followed your instructions and everything turned out great. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Lauren! I’m thrilled this Navy Bean Soup was a winner!

  4. Eileen says

    I made this today using smoked kielbasa and canned navy beans in my crock pot. Followed your recipe exactly except did not have any fennel. Even so, the soup is very fragrant and delicious! Best navy bean soup I’ve tasted. Thank you.

    • Jen says

      I’m thrilled this is the best Navy Bean Soup you ever tasted! Thanks so much Eileen!

  5. Monica says

    If using a crockpot, do I have to soak the beans ahead of time?
    In one part of the description it says if I use a crockpot, I don’t need to and then in another part it says I do. Would you mind clarifying?

    Thank you so much

    • Jen says

      Hi Monica, I originally stated dried beans didn’t need to be soaked for the crockpot but I had a reader end up with crunchy beans (no!) so I have since changed the instructions to state dried beans should be soaked prior to using in the crockpot. Sorry for the confusion!

      • Staci says

        I have always made your recipe in the slow cooker without soaking the beans and it came out delicious and perfect every time. This is my favorite comfort food recipe that we eat with crusty garlic bread. Is it possible that you still have the no soak option recipe instructions? It made things so much easier. I also used my instapot on slow cook mode when making it.

        • Jen says

          Hi Staci, I removed that option because a reader said their beans came out crunchy without soaking first – I’m happy you didn’t have that problem. You can just skip the soaking and proceed with the recipe.

  6. Ann says

    This soup was excellent and will go to the top of my soup list. My husband and son couldn’t get enough of it. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome comment Ann, I’m thrilled it’s a new favorite!

  7. Jennette Spader says

    I made this soup with just ham for meat, using 3 cups ham broth and 3 cups water. I omitted the canned tomatoes. It was delicious. I also served it over mashed potatoes instead of adding potatoes at the last hour. I’m looking forward to making this again with shredded chicken and bacon and tomatoes next time. This recipe is great, has a good amount of wiggle room for customization.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for your awesome review Jenette, I’m so pleased it was a winner! I love your idea of serving it over mashed potatoes – yum!

  8. Stephanie says

    Wow this was a delicious navy bean soup & more flavorful with the range of ingredients/spices used! Had everything on hand except the fennel, made this in a slow cooker using un-soaked dried beans and they were cooked perfectly tender in 4 1/2-5 hrs and all the veggies still held their shape as well. I did add 2 cups of water half way thru (in addition to the original 6 cups broth) because the beans needed it. Scrumptious, hearty soup perfect for a winter day and a definite do-over. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Stephanie, I’m so pleased this navy soup was a winner! It’s definitely cozy soup weather!