For Thanksgiving Weekend: Navy Bean Soup

We don't mean for you to serve navy bean soup on Thanksgiving (Although you can if you want to!). It's for the days after.

navy bean soup

However much you might love turkey during the holidays, homemade navy bean soup provides a flavorful change of pace.


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Variety is the spice of life, but in the days after Thanksgiving we often find ourselves having to eat turkey, turkey, and more turkey. For a change of pace, try this simple, economical navy bean soup recipe. Anyone can make it. In fact, make a lot and store some — it freezes well. (Just be sure you mark a date on the container.)

3 cups uncooked navy beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced*
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced*
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground pepper

Place the beans in a large soup pot and add 2 cups water until the beans are covered with an inch or so extra. Bring the beans to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat. Let sit for at least one hour but not longer than four hours. Drain the water and add 6 cups of water. Cover and simmer the beans for an hour or so until tender. Pour the beans and liquid into a large bowl.

Heat the oil in the soup pot on medium heat and saute the onions until soft, then add the garlic. Saute for a minute or so, and then put the beans and liquid back into the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed.

*If you want a slightly different look, slice the carrots and celery on the diagonal.

See Back to Basics: Cooking for Thanksgiving Weekend for more recipes.