Navy Bean Soup

This hearty Navy Bean Soup is made with your leftover ham bone! Tons of vegetables and tender ham simmered in the most delicious broth!

There are so many ways to turn leftover ham into a delicious meal! From a light Ham Salad to another comforting favorite, our Stove Top Split Pea Soup!

Navy Bean soup on a ladle

Navy Bean Soup Recipe

We have a few go to recipes to make when we have a leftover ham bone. One is Pasta Fagioli, a family favorite, another is the Crustless Ham & Broccoli Quiche – which real mean do eat, btw.

Now we have another favorite to add to the list, the Navy Bean Soup recipe. Similar to pasta fagioli, but there’s no pasta in this soup. Just leftover ham and dried navy beans that have been soaked overnight. The broth which is made from a leftover ham bone is so rich and flavorful, you won’t want to leave a drop behind.

How To Make Navy Bean Soup

Start by soaking navy beans in a large bowl or pot overnight. Soaking beans helps to remove some of the sugars from the beans that are indigestible which is what leads to that little bit o’ gas you might get after eating beans. Also, soaking the beans helps them to cook faster when you get them into the pot. You can cook beans without soaking them, but they will take a lot longer to become tender.

Ham bone in a pot with beans for soup recipe

After your beans have soaked, get them into a soup pot or dutch oven along with your leftover ham bone, fresh thyme, onions, and a bay leaf. Let that simmer for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes until the beans are tender, but not mushy.

Unless of course you like your beans a little mushy, then cook the soup a little bit longer, it’s really up to you.

Next step is to remove the ham bone to a board and let it cool enough so that you can handle it. Take any ham off the bone and add it back to the soup. Add another couple of cups of leftover ham and some sliced carrots and celery. Simmer until the carrots and celery are tender, about another 15 minutes and then it’s time to serve.

Soup recipe in white bowl with oyster crackers

Can I Use Canned Beans To Make This Soup Recipe?

You can, but we really like the flavor and texture of using dried beans. When you make the broth using dried beans the flavor gets soaked up into the bean as it cooks and it’s really such a delicious way to make this soup.

But If you only have canned beans on hand, just add them in after the ham bone has cooked with the onions, herbs and water for an hour.

Navy Bean Soup recipe in a white bowl with crackers

What If I Forgot To Soak The Beans?

Rinse your beans in a colander and then add them to a soup pot. Add cold water to the pot so that it covers the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let sit for an hour.

Drain and rinse the beans and use per the recipe.

Soup recipe made with leftover ham

Looking For More Soup Recipes?

Navy Bean soup on a ladle

Navy Bean Soup

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

This hearty and comforting ham bone soup is the best way to use up your leftover ham! Tender beans, simmered in a homemade broth with vegetables and big pieces of ham!



  • 1 leftover ham bone, with some ham still on the bone
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/41 pound leftover ham (depending on how much is left on your ham bone)
  • 1 pound bag navy beans, soaked overnight (see note)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 78 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 tablespoons chopped garlic (we use 2)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 23 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery


  1. Add the oil to a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  2. Add the ham bone to the pot along with 10 cups of water, the beans, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour. Test the beans to see if they are tender, if they aren’t tender enough at this point, cook the soup for another 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove the ham bone from the soup and place on a board to cool slightly. Add the diced carrots and celery to the soup along with the leftover ham. Trim off any ham that’s still on the bone and add it to the soup.
  4. Simmer the soup for another 15 minutes until the carrots and celery are tender. Test for seasonings and adjust if needed. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems and serve.

Recipe Notes

Start with 2 teaspoons of salt and then season with more salt as you go. The ham bone will add salt to the broth so don’t over salt the stock at first. We usually end up adding another teaspoon or so after the stock is done.

To soak the beans: add the beans to a large bowl or pot and cover with cold water. The beans will expand so make sure to use a big enough container to hold them in, with plenty of water to cover the beans. Soak overnight and then drain.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: soup recipe, ham bone soup, leftover ham recipe, navy bean soup, ham and bean soup, easy recipes, leftover recipes, dinner ideas, comfort food, recipes with leftover ham

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