This is another dish that I didn’t really eat growing up. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat any type of dried bean but taste buds and cravings evolve and over the weekend I found myself wanting some Navy Bean Soup. I had never really had them but it was pretty easy for me to imagine the flavors and cooking method as most broth based bean soups follow the same steps. As with any soup we have to build flavor at the base using aromatics, meats, and spices before simmering everything together.
You will want to soak your beans to help often the beans and reduce the cooking time. If you’re like me and forget to soak your beans you can do a quick soak that will work just fine in this recipe.
As for the meat choice, I opted for smoked turkey legs because that is what I like. I know many recipes call for ham bone but I’m not a big fan of ham so I encourage you to use what you like. Smoked turkey and ham bone both will work well in this recipe. Once the soup is finished you will have a creamy, smoky, and flavorful pot of beans that are perfect for cold weather and cozy days.
Quick bean soaking method
Place the beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover the beans (about 2-3 cups), add 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, and bring the beans to a gentle boil for five minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and let them soak, covered for 1 hour. When ready to make the soup rinse the beans off and follow the directions for making the soup.
How to Make Navy Bean Soup
Before making the soup soak your beans overnight in a bowl filled with cold water and 2 tsp of salt. Cover the beans and let them soak for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, pour the water off of the beans and rinse them well. You can also follow the directions above for a quick soak, if needed.
Add the olive oil to a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven and turn the heat to medium heat. Add in the smoked turkey legs or ham bone and brown on all sides for flavor and color. Remove the turkey legs from the pot and add in the onions. Sauté the onions until soft and fragrant. If they are cooking too fast, remove the pot from the heat and continue to cook the onions. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in all of the dry seasonings, except for the salt and stir well.
Return the smoked turkey to the pot and add the beans, water, broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir everything together and let the beans come to a boil over medium high heat. Once they reach a boil, reduce the heat and let the beans simmer while covered for 1 hour and 30 mins. This is where all of the flavors and really start to develop as flavors are drawn out from the bone and into the beans. With a fork pull the meat off of the smoked turkey legs and add the meat to the beans. Check on the beans for softness and flavor and add salt if needed. When the beans are done, you can keep them on low heat or a warm setting while serving.Print