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Navy Bean Ham Soup Recipe

VirginiaLynne has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

Homemade Navy Bean and Ham Soup Recipe

Homemade Navy Bean and Ham Soup Recipe

Healthy Dinner

Need a healthy meal for your family? Try this soup that I created to imitate my favorite Marie Calendar's meal. I like to eat it with sweet cornbread and honey butter. Here are some tips:

  • Quickest: For a meal in 30 minutes, used canned navy beans.
  • Healthiest: To keep my recipe low fat, I use cut up 97% fat-free ham and make sure to add other vegetables like celery, carrots, onions or leeks.
  • Even Better Taste: If you already have them on hand, you might want to add a ham hock or leftover ham scraps. You can also add 1/2 cup of white wine for fuller taste.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour 30 min

1 hour 45 min

6 one cup servings


  • 1 lb dry navy beans, or 2 cans, drained
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup carrots and/or celery or leeks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, sage, or chives, or 2 tablespoons of dried herb mix
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ham, cut in small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken boullion, or to taste
  • 1 tea. pepper, or to taste
  • 1-2 fresh or 1 16 oz can chopped tomatoes, optional—add at end


  1. If using canned beans, total cooking time is 20-30 minutes: Drain beans and put in a pot with 1 cup water and move to step 3.
  2. For starting with dried beans: Quick-cook dried white beans by covering them with cold water, boiling for 2 minutes, covering with a lid, and letting them sit for 20 minutes or more. Drain water off. Then cover beans with cold water again. Make sure there is at least 1" of water on top. Cook for 1-2 hours on medium heat or until beans are soft.
  3. Add onion carrots/celery, ham, and herbs (any mix of fresh or dried, you can use herbes de Provence or Italian seasonings). Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add dried chicken bouillon, pepper, and more herbs to taste. If you want a thicker soup, you can remove 1 cup of beans and mash them with a fork, then put them back in the pan and mix.
  5. Optional: add 1-2 chopped tomatoes or 1 can of chopped tomatoes and heat until just boiling (don't add these until the very end).


Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on November 04, 2013:

I've checked at Amazon and on the Marie Calendar's website--they don't offer a frozen or a canned version of their navy bean soup. But try my recipe, I think you will like it!

Edmund H. Clark on November 04, 2013:

I want to know where I can purchase Marie Calendar's bean and ham soup?

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on July 21, 2012:

What a beautiful hub not only to look at but the recipe as well! It looks delicious! I love the way the instructions are laid out and the photographs to complement - this makes it so easy to have the confidence to have a go at this lovely, nutritious recipe! Voted up + shared.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 14, 2012:

Thanks arkirchner--don't tell me you have 100 in Oregon! Yikes--We actually had a record breaking 90 in a row 100 degree days last summer. We feel pretty good to have cut down to the 80s with rain. I really did enjoy this soup then!

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 14, 2012:

Hey Virginia - that's looking pretty dang tasty even in 100 degree heat. I just discovered a ham bone in my freezer today so maybe when it cools down to oh 85, I just might fire up the crockpot and have soup! I absolutely love great soup recipes and yours is a keeper. Great pictures and again, I love your presentation!

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 10, 2012:

Thanks Maddie--since we got an iPad recently, I've realized that my kids can use it with online recipes if they have pictures, so I've started taking them for Hubs that way!

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 10, 2012:

As I was researching for this Hub, I found out that you can pressure cook the beans too. I don't have a pressure cooker, so I haven't tried it, but I should add the directions for that. I think it only takes about 8-10 minutes, which sound great. I do love fat-free sour cream! On tomato soup too!

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on July 10, 2012:

Great step-by-step pictures! These always really help me get a better feel for the recipe before I decide to make it.

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on July 10, 2012:

Hi Virginia. I think I can do this recipe, it sounds easy and simple to do. I've been doing homemade pressure-cooked pork and beans, a thing I learned from mom. This easy bean recipe is something to fascinate everyone with white beans and no longer orange:=) I'm intrigued with your idea of topping it with fat-free sour cream. Thanks for sharing.

Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 09, 2012:

Thanks bethperry! I had it tonight for dinner at it did taste great. I love to top it with fat free sour cream.

Beth Perry from Tennesee on July 09, 2012:

Mmm, sounds delicious! And I like the attractive photos.