Teresa G.


This recipe is for my basic soup. It's hearty, flavorful and very filling. I love to dip a piece of crusty french bread in it; my husband prefers cornbread. Some people like a little diced celery and/or shredded carrot in their bean soup. If that's how you prefer yours, feel free to add it about 1/2 hour before finished cooking.

Featured Pinch Tips Video

★★★★★ 1 vote
A crowd
12 Hr
6 Hr
Stove Top


2 c
dried beans (1 lb. navy, pinto etc...)
water to soak beans and rinse
1 Tbsp
bacon grease or olive oil (or 1/2 grease & 1/2 oil)
1 medium
onion, diced (about 3/4 to 1 cup)
1 to 1 1/2 c
chopped smoked ham or country ham
1 clove
garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/2 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
1 c
ham broth (optional, but recommended)
10 to 12 c
water plus extra, as needed
ham hock or bone, smoked (optional)
1 Tbsp
ham soup base (optional, if using broth)
1 tsp
sea salt (or to taste)


Step 1 Direction Photo

1The night before, pour beans onto a rimmed baking sheet; remove and discard any stones or damaged beans; place beans in colander or strainer; rinse under running water; pour into large bowl; add enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches over top of beans; let sit on counter overnight.

Step 2 Direction Photo

2The next morning, drain and rinse beans well; set aside.

3In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt bacon grease (or add oil) over medium heat.

Step 4 Direction Photo

4Add onions and saute until translucent and beginning to slightly brown.

Step 5 Direction Photo

5Add ham, black pepper and pressed garlic; saute 30 seconds (careful, don't burn garlic.)

Step 6 Direction Photo

6Add ham hock or bone (if using) and beans.

Step 7 Direction Photo

7Add 10 to 12 cups water (and 1 cup broth, if desired.)

Step 8 Direction Photo

8Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for minimum 4 hours and up to 8 hours ( the longer, the better), checking every 1/2 hour or so for enough liquid. Add boiling water as needed (never use cold water as it will cause the beans to burst.)

Step 9 Direction Photo

9Add ham soup base, additional vegetables (if using) and salt 1/2 hour before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. If you desire a thicker soup, leave the lid off the pot for the last 1/2 hour and/or mash some of the beans.

10Remove ham bone or hock; pick meat from hock and add to beans, if desired.

11Serve with cornbread, crusty white bread, biscuits or crackers. A spoonful of green tomato relish on top is very good also. Store leftovers in covered containers in refrigerator or freeze.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Southern
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free
Other Tags: Healthy, Heirloom