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