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  • 1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 smoked ham hock (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak beans overnight in water.
  2. Rinse and drain beans. Combine them in a large pot with ham hock and water. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add more water as necessary.
  3. Remove ham hock; when cool, remove and discard skin, bone and fat. Cut meat into small pieces and return to soup.
  4. In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add onion, salt and pepper to soup and stir, pressing down with the back of a large spoon to break up some of the beans and thicken soup.
Recipe by Jean Kressy.

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The recipe was originally published as Bean Soup on

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