½lb.smoked beef sausage(optional); slice to bite size
1canStewed Tomatoes with Green ChilesRotel brand preferred; add juice to soup
parsley or scallionschopped, for garnish
Rinse navy beans and soak either overnight or use the Quick Soak method (see notes)
Chop onions and celery
In a big soup pot on medium heat, add oil, onions and celery; cook until onions are softened, about 4 - 6 minutes; add minced garlic
Add entire can of stewed tomatoes, beans, broth and bay leaves to the onion mixture; (add hamhock : optional); stir well
Allow to cook for 35-45 minutes covered; check occasionally for liquid level. If liquid level gets below the bean level, add water or broth to cover the beans by 3-4 inches; cover and continue to cook until beans are tender
To add smoked beef sausage, cut it into bite-sized pieces and saute in a separate pan; (You can add the sausage to the whole soup, or add it to individual servings)
Once beans are tender, remove bay leaves; remove ham hock (if added)
Add salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with parsley or scallions and serve
How to Quick Soak BeansA quick soak is ideal when you forgot to soak navy or pinto beans overnight.
Place the beans and 8 cups of water in a large pot and bring it to a boil (uncovered) for 5 minutes
Turn off the heat and cover
Allow beans to stand for 1 hour, covered
Pour off the water, add in chicken/vegetable broth and resume the recipe
Canned beansIf you want to use canned beans instead of dried, you'll need about 6 cups of beans, drained and rinsed.Vegetarian version: use vegetable broth or water instead of chicken broth; omit ham hock and sausageStove Top Method Notes:After the beans have cooked for about 30 minutes, check the water/broth liquid. Chances are, you'll need to add additional liquid. Add enough to cover the beans by 3-4 inches.Slow Cooker DirectionsIf you make navy bean soup in a crock pot or slow cooker, soak the beans first, either overnight or the "quick soak" method.
Place beans and remaining ingredients into slow cooker and add plenty of water or broth (8-10 cups). The beans will absorb the liquid, so if you leave the slow cooker unattended you'll want to ensure there's plenty of water or broth.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.