Go Back
+ servings
a bowl of navy bean soup on a table with a spoon

Hearty Navy Bean Soup with Ham (Senate Bean)

Served by the U.S. Senate restaurants, this hearty classic navy bean soup is slow cooked flavor and plenty of warm comfort.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Soak Time 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings 7 people
Calories 169kcal
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 1/2 cups navy beans measured dry
  • 1 ham hock country ham style preferred
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 1 large onion diced in to 1/2" pieces; about 1 cup of diced onion
  • 3 celery ribs sliced in to 1/2" pieces; about 34 cup sliced celery
  • 1 medium potato peeled and diced in to 1" pieces ; about 1 cup of diced potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves minced; about 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped; optional


  • Rinse and check the beans for dirt or rocks. Drain away any water and cover the beans with at least 3 inches of fresh warm water. Let the beans soak 4 to 5 hours if possible. If you don't have time to soak them, just rinse them and move forward.
  • Once the beans have soaked, drain them and transfer them to at least a 4 quart heavy dutch oven or pot. Cover with 7 cups of cold water and add the ham hock.
  • Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook soaked beans 1 hour 15 minutes. Unsoaked beans will take about 2 hours. Stir occasionally while simmering.
  • Once the beans are tender, turn off the heat, remove the ham hock and let it cool enough to handle. Remove any skin and fat and chop the meat you can get off of it. Add that back to the pot.
  • Add the onion, celery, potatoes, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and return to a gentle simmer to cook the vegetables: About 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the vegetables are soft, turn off the heat and if the soup isn't thick enough, gently mash some of the soup with a potato masher or fork. Leave most of the beans whole.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm with cornbread or rolls.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg