Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Yield: 12 Servings




1 lb navy or great northern white dried beans

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

10 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

2 teaspoons rosemary or thyme, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 cups of ham, chopped into 1 inch cubes

1 medium carrot, chopped into small pieces

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

8 cups of water or chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste




Place dried beans in a large pan and cover with 2 inches of cold water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let sit for 1 hour and then drain the water from beans and set beans aside.

In a large stockpot, combine the beans, herbs, ham, onion, carrot, garlic, tomato paste and chicken stock or water.  Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 1½ hours or until beans and vegetables are tender.  Remove bay leaf and discard before serving.  Serve soup piping hot with salad and crusty bread.


Note: For a vegetarian version, omit the ham and use vegetable stock or water.