Friday, November 11, 2011

Navy Bean Soup

Derived from Cook’s Illustrated American Classics U.S. SENATE NAVY BEAN SOUP.

Serves 6
Time: 1 1/4 hr


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion , chopped fine
  • 1 medium carrot , chopped fine
  • 1 medium stalk celery , chopped fine
  • 4 medium cloves garlic , peeled and finely minced

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 parsley stems, plus minced, see below

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound dried navy beans washed and picked clean of any debris or dark-colored beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock (about 12 ounces) or 6 oz cubed ham
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Salt

  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
  • lemon wedges


  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 ­seconds longer. Transfer to the pressure cooker pot.

  1. With a 12-inch length of kitchen twine, tie together the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and parsley stems.

  1. Add the beans, ham hock, herb bundle, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and chicken stock to the pressure cooker. Bring to a boil, clamp on the pressure cooker lid, and bring to highest pressure. Reduce heat and maintain pressure for 25 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool down and depressurise naturally, about 10 min.

  1. Remove the herb bundle and the ham hock from the pot with the beans. Lightly smash some of the beans in the pot with a potato masher (8-10 strokes) or a hand-held blender until creamy and lightly thickened, but many whole beans remain. Simmer for 10 min.

  1. Using tongs and a chef’s knife, remove and mince the meat. Return meat to the pot. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

  1. Just before serving, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley and the lemon juice. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each with a lemon wedge.

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