Southwestern Navy Bean Soup is a flavorful blend of high-fiber legumes and flavorful seasonings!
Cheap and easy to make!
Southwestern Navy Bean soup is one of my “go-to” recipes in the Fall simply because of the zesty, rich flavors. I remember my Grandmother having a big pot of navy beans on the stove, chocked full of bacon grease and ham chunks. The flavor was really good, but if you didn’t like navy beans, you probably wouldn’t have cared for her simple, yet delicious recipe.
So, I took the liberty of eliminating some of the unhealthy aspects of the dish…ahem, bacon grease, and resurrected her navy bean soup to a more healthy dish! I think she’d like my version because it’s a bit zesty, with a hint of spice.
Can I Use Canned Navy Beans for Southwestern Navy Bean Soup?
I suppose you could, although I’ve never cared for canned beans due to the watery “glaze” on them. If you decide to use canned beans, rinse them first. This will reduce the cooking time drastically, but will also skimp on the flavor because canned beans are par-boiled, meaning they’ve been slightly cooked before the canning process. In my opinion, dried beans absorb more of the flavor from the seasonings, resulting in a richer, fuller flavor.
Can I Make This Recipe for Vegans or Vegetarians?
Yes! Simply use vegetable broth in lieu of chicken broth and omit the ham hock and sausage. If you do not care for vegetable broth, use water. If you use water, you might want to add a second can Rotel® and increase the amount of ground cumin.
Dressed up ordinary navy bean soup made into a zesty, mouth-watering and filling soup.
- 1 lb. navy beans dried
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 small ham hock optional
- 1/2 lb. smoked beef sausage optional; sliced to bite size
- 1 can Rotel (stewed tomatoes and green chiles)
- 64 oz. chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup scallions chopped, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons oil
Rinse navy beans and soak in salted water for at least an hour
Chop onions and celery
In a heavy bottom stock pot on medium heat, add oil, onions and celery; cook until onions are softened, about 4 - 6 minutes
Add beans (and any of the water they soaked in) to the onion mixture
Add ham hock, broth, cumin and bay leaves; bring to boil for 5 minutes
Turn heat to medium low; add Rotel (stewed tomatoes and green chiles); stir and cover
Allow to cook for 45-50 minutes covered; check occasionally for liquid level. If liquid level gets below the bean level, add water.
If you are going to add smoked beef sausage, cut it into bite-sized pieces and saute in a separate pan
Once beans are cooked, remove bay leaves; if applicable, remove ham hock
Add cooked sausage to soup prior to serving; you can add the sausage to the whole soup, or add it to individual servings
Garnish with scallions and serve
- Vegetarian version: use vegetable broth or water instead of chicken broth; omit ham hock and sausage
While your beans are cooking, you might want to whip up a batch of homemade cornbread!