My Grandmother used to make this soup with potatoes or ditalini, better known as elbow pasta and dried cranberry beans. It was called, in Italian, pasta e fagioli. But I like the taste and texture of spinach in a soup, so I always add spinach or kale and leave out the pasta and potatoes.
Navy beans are a very nutritious food. They are very low fat. An excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, folate, thiamin and potassium, to name a few.
This navy bean soup recipe can be a healthy vegan meal also. So, even if you want to leave out the meat, you would certainly still have a tasty and nutrient filled fare.
The navy bean is a small white bean. The bean is used for pork and beans or baked beans. Dried navy beans are available. You can also use pre-cooked canned small white beans. you may find.
When I was young and my friends and I would go to school football games in the winter. I would always beg my Mom to make this soup. I would fill a thermos full of the soup, bring styrofoam cups and we would all share the hot soup throughout the game.
Navy Bean Soup Recipe, Meal in a Pot
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 links of Italian sausage, mild (if you prefer, or you can use a ham steak cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes with liquid
- 2 cups dried navy beans, washed and soaked, or
- 2 15oz cans of small white beans, drained
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
- 2 cans chicken stock
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place drained, presoaked beans in 6qt Dutch oven. Add chicken stock, bay leaf and 1 cup of water. Cook covered low and slow for 45 minutes.
- 1. Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing, break up and saute with onions for about 8 minutes or until cooked. If using ham steak, saute pieces with onion for same amount of time.
- When beans have simmered for 45 minutes add sausage, onions and tomatoes and carrots. Cook an additional 45 minutes until beans are tender. Add spinach. Taste soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve
- If using canned beans, add to drained beans, bay leaf, cooked sausage, onions, tomatoes, carrots and chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add spinach and serve.