When my mom was alive, we frequented the local breakfast spots around town; we sure did love a good diner meal.
It was kind of our thing. She’d call and say, “Want to grab a bite?” And I, who has never been known to turn down a meal, would reply, “Sure!” And off we’d go.
We kept the best of the local diners on rotation because they’d never disappoint. While we’d normally order breakfast, there was always one exception–if they had homemade Navy Bean soup on the menu, it was a must-have order. That’s one of the best things about diners–the homemade soup–and Navy Bean is top of the favorite list for us.
I love the creaminess of the tiny navy beans and the simplicity of the ingredients–the flavor enhanced by slow-cooking with a ham bone, which makes any dish destined for greatness. Most of all, I love the memories it brings back for me. When I find a really good bowl, it’s like a warm, soothing reminder of some really nice moments shared with my mom.
Over the years, I grew impatient when I couldn’t find a decent bowl of Navy Bean soup, so I decided to make my own. I adapted a recipe my MIL shared with me and can say with confidence, this is some good damn soup.
Like all of my recipes, the process is simple and the time it takes to create this warm bowl of cozy is so worth it. I’ve listed the instructions for both the Instant Pot method as well as the old-fashioned way of making soup, right on the stove with a soup pot.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite meal stretching hacks:
One ham. Two meals.
After your family has had their way with a ham dinner, hang onto the bone. You can either store it in your freezer or place immediately into a soup pot and try this recipe of Navy Bean Soup for yourself.
Navy Bean Soup
- 1 Pressure Cooker OR
- 1 Dutch Oven
- 1 ham hock
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 7 cups water or chicken broth
Stove Top Instructions
- Rinse the beans and discard any bad beans.
- Heat beans and water or chicken broth to boiling; boil gently for 2 minutes.
- Remove beans from heat, cover and let stand for an hour.
- In the meantime, chop the onion, carrots and celery.
- After the hour is up, add the ham hock, the chopped vegetables, bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Heat until boiling.
- Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the beans are soft.
- Skim off the bone occasionally .
- Remove the bay leaf and ham bone. Trim any meat from the bone and return back to the soup. Season to taste and serve.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place all of the ingredients into the pressure cooker and put on high pressure for 35 minutes.
- When the time is up, manually release the steam. It takes a few minutes to release all of the steam.
- Remove the hammock and bay leaf from the pot. Cut any meat off of the bone and return to the soup.
- Season to taste and serve.
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