STREAMING NOW: Simply Nigella

My Favorite Navy Bean Easy to Prepare!

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“This is a wonderful hearty soup, great for using leftover ham from the holidays. Note 1: For a richer-tasting stock, take half of the cooked beans and puree them with the metal blade of your food processor and then add them back to the soup. Note 2: You can soak the beans overnight to speed up the preparation process and omit cooking in the first step of the directions. This soup is comfort food at its best. You will love it. Don't let the number of Steps in the Directions divert you: I always try to make my preparation directions explicit and make preparation easier, not more difficult!”
2hrs 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash beans in a colander.
  2. Sort beans, discarding stones and blemished beans.
  3. Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Boil for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  7. Drain beans and return to saucepan.
  8. In food processor bowl fitted with slicing blade, slice carrots, celery and onion.
  9. Add carrot-vegetable mixture to beans in saucepan.
  10. Add 6 cups water.
  11. Bring mixture to a simmer over high heat.
  12. Replace slicing food processor blade with metal blade.
  13. Add ham (or bacon) and pulse until chopped.
  14. Add ham or bacon to saucepan.
  15. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
  16. Add sugar, to taste.
  17. Add salt, white pepper, and pinch of ground nutmeg.
  18. Serve soup in heated bowls.
  19. If desired, add 1/2 t sour cream or creme fraice to top each serving, or.
  20. add dollop of sherry to each serving.
  21. Enjoy.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a