• Cooking Time: 2 hours
  • Servings: 20 1 cup portions
  • Preparation Time: 90 minutes


The old fashion navy bean soup is composite recipe from the Denver and Rio Grand Western Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. It is a family favorite.


  • 2 pounds navy beans
  • 4 quarts low sodium beef broth
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup heavy cream I
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


  • I use low-sodium beef broth in the recipe so I can control the amount of salt that gets added to the recipe. I'd rather add salt later than use a heavily salted beef stock or base.
  • You need an 8-quart stockpot or No. 10 Dutch oven for this recipe. Use a 12-inch deep camp oven if you're cooking over hot coals outdoors.
  • Pick over beans, removing discolored beans and foreign matter. Wash thoroughly in cold water. Cover beans with beef broth and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  • Saute onions and carrots and sweat under medium-low heat until soft. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes before adding vegetable mixture to the bean pot.
  • Bring beans to a boil, cover and simmer 2 hours or until beans are tender. If needed, thicken soup with a flour and paste. Remove ham hocks and remove and chop meat and add back into the pot.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and parsley just before serving.
  • Serves 20 (1-cup) portions. When used as the main course, the recipe will only serve 12 to 16 persons. This recipe yields about 5 to 5-1/2 quarts.

Categories: Soup 

Author Credit: Steven Karoly

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