- 1 pound dried navy beans
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 10 cups water
- 4 cups cubed fully cooked ham
- 1 cup mashed potatoes (without added milk and butter)
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until beans are softened. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
- In the same pan, saute onions in oil for 2 minutes. Add celery; cook until tender. Stir in the beans, water, ham, potatoes, carrot, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, pepper and bay leaves. Add ham bone. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
- Discard bay leaves. Remove ham bone; and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove ham from bone and cut into cubes. Discard bone. Return ham to soup; heat through. Garnish soup with parsley. Yield: 15 servings (3-3/4 quarts).
Reviews for Contest-Winning Ham and Bean Soup
"This was good but I wouldn't use two Bay leaves. I think it overpowered the other flavors in the soup."
"I love making and trying different soups. Overall I wasn't impressed with the end result and won't be making it again."
"After eating Ham and Bean soup for 66 years and from not only my own kitchen, but a multitude of others, including my Grandmothers, which was wonderful as was my Mothers. But this recipe has beat all the others hands down..I've never eaten a bean and ham soup this good ever..... I'm going to keep the recipe forever. It's spectacular."
"This was okay but not great. I can only describe the flavor as too "hammy". It seemed kind of greasy even though I trimmed the fat off the bone. I did notice that the leftovers (2 days later) were much improved."
"So very good! Everyone enjoyed this hearty soup! Especially the next day."
"Excellent soup!!! I used 3/4 cup instant potatoes as suggested below and cut the pepper to 1/4 tsp. Very easy to make - I'll be making this again!!!"
"This originally didn't have much flavor, but after the leftovers sat a day or two it was much better!"
"Delicious! Perfect for a lazy day at home to have sitting on the stove simmering. Very economical and good for you too!"
"We LOVED this Ham and Bean soup; it is the best we've ever had. It was a bit spicy, so the next time we make it we will probably only add 1/4 tsp. pepper. We didn't have celery or leftover mashed potatoes. I added about 3/4 cup of instant potato flakes, and used the dried Great Northern beans. This recipe is definitely a "keeper!""