Simple and inexpensive to make, this navy bean soup recipe is a great addition to your menu planning.
Navy beans are also called “haricot” beans and “Great Northern Beans.” They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and to a lesser degree also provide potassium, calcium, zinc and even a bit of Vitamin C.
This recipe uses dry beans that must be soaked either overnight or using the quick method if you need them sooner. Be sure to drain and rinse before cooking.
Overnight method for cooking healthy beans
Cover washed and sorted beans with water and allow them to soak overnight. Then drain the water, rinse the beans, add more water and cook according to directions.
Fast-soak method for cooking healthy beans
Cover washed and sorted beans with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes, and cover and let stand for one hour. Discard soaking water, rinse, cover with new water and cook as directed.
Navy Bean Soup Recipe
1 cup dry navy beans, soaked (using overnight or method) and rinsed.
1 teaspoon good quality salt (more or less to taste)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup evaporated milk (optional)
(1) Cover soaked navy beans with water, and simmer gently, partially covered for 90-120 minutes or until very tender.
(2) Add salt, butter and enough milk to reach desired consistency.
For a different taste, you can add some onion or onion powder.
Navy Bean Soup Recipe: Tips for eating beans
In spite of the nutritional advantages, if there is a drawback to the legume family of foods, it is that they can produce digestive disturbance in the form of gas. There are several things you can do to alleviate this problem:
-If you are not used to eating legumes, start slowly. Everyone will produce some gas during digestion, but it should not be painful, putrid or pervasive.
-For the best result when using canned beans, discard the juice and rinse the beans before use.
-If you are using dry beans, throw out the soaking water (or use the water for your plants or garden), rinse before cooking and cook thoroughly.
-Eat slowly, chew your food well, and don’t eat too much.
-Try taking enzyme products, like “Beano,” right before you eat. This may help to alleviate gas problems by promoting digestion.
-Add some fennel to your beans (or chew some fennel seeds later, should you feel any adverse effects from eating legumes or any other foods).
I have also heard that adding summer savory, dill or anise to your beans will help, but I have never tried any of these myself. Use about one teaspoon per cup of dry beans. Keep in mind that these seasonings may change the flavor of your soup.
Warning: Fennel seeds should not be taken in large doses by pregnant women, since they are a uterine stimulant.
I hope you enjoy making and serving this navy bean soup recipe to your family and friends!