Ham and navy bean soup is one of my favorite soups in the universe. I've been eating it since I was young, when my dear mom made it. As soon as I moved out and had to fend for myself, I started making it, too.
For those keeping track, that's over 25 years of soup enjoyment, 10 years of which were thanks to yours truly, and zero mention of it in over 4 years of blogging. To sum it up, shame on me for not sharing.
This is the ultimate everyday soup. Regardless of the rhyme or reason, it's one of those recipes that warrants the reaction, "That would be perfect!"
If you're short on energy.
(If you're just short.)
If you're craving something hearty.
If you're seeking an inexpensive meal.
If you want your house to smell heavenly.
If you need to feed a crowd.
If you love meals that cook themselves.
If you want something to warm you from the inside out.
If you don't like doing dishes.
If you can't imagine spending more than 5 minutes to prepping another meal this week.
If you're simply hungry for good food, gosh darn it.
Tender beans absorb the bold flavors of the smoky ham, sweet carrots, and tangy onions. The simple combination of salt, pepper, and thyme adds just the right amount of seasoning to a soup that's so delicious it's downright criminal.
A soup that's so good you could dress things up with some buttered and toasted crostini and serve to guests with your nicest place settings and fanciest tablescape.
Or, you could forego the formal dishes, nearly burn a piece of toast under the broiler but keep it anyway, and curl up with a giant soup mug of this and watch a marathon of Parks & Recreation (love me the new Esquire Network).
Like I said, this is an all-occasion, any appetite, anytime kind of soup :)
5 Ingredient Ham & Bean Soup
-makes 8 servings
1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed
1 white onion, chopped
2 ham steaks (about 12 ounces), 1/2-inch dice
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Ground black pepper
In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine beans, onion, ham, carrots, and thyme. Add 8 cups water. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir, season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, use a fork to mash some of the beans to create a thicker texture. Serve and enjoy!
Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Soup will thicken as it cools, so additional water may be necessary to thin soup to your liking.
Freezing instructions: Soup can be cooled completely and transferred to resealable freezer bags, laid flat, and frozen for up to 6 months. Simply thaw in fridge 1 day before using and microwave to warm completely.