Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Navy Bean Soup - Dinner on "N" Day

It's time for dinner on "N" day and I'm using NAVY BEANS

I made Navy Bean Soup. This soup is oh so filling and comforting on a cold evening. It is certainly savoury and can  also be easily altered for additional yumminess, by adding spinach, peas, or kale. Yummy!

Servings: 6 

1/2 - 1 lb dried Navy Beans (approx. 3 cups of soaked beans)
2 cups of smoked ham, cubed small, and trim outer skin off
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 796 ml can of diced tomatoes
800 ml Chicken Stock (adjust as needed to ensure navy beans are covered in pot)
1 tsp dried basil
5 small fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
small pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt, taste and adjust accordingly
few good grinds of black pepper
juice of half a lemon
*freshly steamed peas, to garnish over top, if desired


1. Soak the dried beans in water in a large pot, with about 1" - 2" of water covering the beans, and place in the fridge overnight (or for at least 8 hours of soaking time).  

2. Heat a little dab of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, celery, dried basil, red pepper flakes and dried thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes. 

3. Add the cubed ham and stir through, heating for about 2 minutes. 

3. Add the diced tomatoes, navy beans, and chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn down to a low simmer and with lid on a skew, simmer in 30 minute intervals, checking that the beans are always covered with liquid and stirring soup each time you check. 

4. Add more chicken stock, if needed and continue simmering with lid fully on at times and on a skew, at times. My beans were soft enough in  1 1/2 hours. Beans may take up to 2 hours to be soft enough. Time depends on type of pot, climate, and other factors, I imagine. 

5. Take approx. 3 large "ladlefulls" to an additional big pot or bowl and blend with immersion blender until thick and smooth. Transfer that back into the soup and stir in. (This adds to the creamy texture of the soup) Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and taste/adjust, to your liking. 

6. Steam some peas and garnish over top, if desired. Or add in a couple good handfuls of baby spinach to soup while still on stove and cook through, for about 5 minutes.  



Navy beans are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowing fiber, that will also prevent blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. When combined with whole grains, navy beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. 

These beans are a very good source of folate and manganese, and a good source of protein and Vitamin B1, along with the minerals phosphorus, copper, magnesium and iron. 

In addition to providing slow burning complex carbs, having beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, navy beans can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women. 

The navy bean originated in Peru and derived it's current popular name because it was a staple food of the US Navy in the early 20th century. 

Navy Beans, cooked
(1 cup)

Fiber  19.11 g
Folate  63.7 %
Manganese  48 %
Copper  42.2 %
Phosphorus  37.4 %
Vitamin B1  35.8 %
Protein  14.98 g
Magnesium  24.1 %
Iron  23.9 %

Have you bean eating Navy Beans?

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