navy bean soup with onion, celery, garlic, and thyme

navy bean soup

Navy Bean Soup with Onion, Celery, Garlic, and Thyme (adapted from

Prep time: 12 hours and 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

1 lb package dried navy beans
6 cups low sodium chicken stock (best if home-made)
4 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bay leaf
2-4 stalks fresh thyme
4-6 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley as garnish, if desired
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Put navy beans in a large bowl and cover it with enough water to reach 4 inches above the top of the beans. Cover and leave out overnight.

The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Combine beans, stock, water, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and 2 stalks thyme in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer, partly covered, for 1 hour.

Discard the bay leaf and thyme stalks. Spoon out half the soup into a large bowl. Puree the soup and return it to the rest of the soup in the pot. The soup will be thickened and pale orange in color. Add enough tomato paste to the pot to get the desired red color. Simmer 45 minutes.  Add additional thyme, if desired, but this time, pull the leaves off the stalks. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley, if using.


  • Add cubed ham to the soup
  • Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock

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