Navy Bean Potato Soup

January 3, 2023

bowl of navy bean potato soup

The temperature drops to 9 degrees at night and I say ” I guess it’s now soup weather”. The temperature rises back to the 70s and I repeat that statement. In this kitchen, it’s aways a good time for a steaming hot bowl of soup.

The thicker and chunkier the better. Like this navy bean potato soup. So thick with simmered dry beans and baby potatoes, this soup fills and heals.

Dry Beans are Worth the Extra Effort

Canned beans are a marvelous convenience food. Always at the ready, chock full of protein and delicious even when minimally dressed. My pantry always contains many types of canned beans. Meanwhile, when I have the time, soaked dry beans are what slow cooking is all about. Low and slow, with seasonings added after the beans are done. They are good partners in vegan, vegetarian or meat protein meals. And for me, navy beans conjure up images of my mom  simmering a pot of beans on the stove.

closeup of navy bean potato soup

My favorite recipe ever published on this site must be White Bean and Cabbage Soup . Dreaming of this soup was the inspiration for today’s navy bean soup. Subtle flavor comes from the mirepoix simmered with the cooked beans and the fresh sage added at the beginning. Baby potatoes are easy enough to find these days. If not available at your market, halved or quartered red potatoes are perfectly creamy as well.

ingredients for navy bean potato soup

Senate Bean Soup is a famous white bean soup loosely based on soups served on ships to feed hungry sailors. Here is an interesting article on the history of navy bean soup. My soup is perfectly vegan and vegetarian, but if you are so inclined add a hambone for flavor.

There are two methods for soaking dried beans. You can soak them overnight in water to cover, and drain and rinse the next day. I usually cover with water in a heavy pot, bring them to boil, then drain and rinse after allowing a one hour sit off the heat.

This hearty soup may be either entree or prelude to a satisfying winter meal.

Navy Bean Potato Soup

recipe by Michele Humlan, The God Eats Company

makes 6-8 servings


one pound dried navy or other white beans
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
¾ cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
finely ground white pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
best quality vegetable stock – 6 or more cups
one pound baby red or gold potatoes*
kosher salt
optional garnish : fresh sage leaves
* if baby potatoes not available, cut larger ones into 2 inch chunks


  1. In heavy large saucepan, bring beans (and enough water to cover by two inches) to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and let sit one hour.
  3. Drain and rinse beans.
  4. Dry same pan and combine olive oil with onion, carrot, celery and a pinch of white pepper over high heat.
  5. When mixture begins to sizzle, decrease heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes; avoid browning.
  6. Add minced sage, stir about 10 seconds, then add drained beans and 6 cups vegetable stock.
  7. Bring to boil, then simmer, partly covered, until beans are tender and beginning to fall apart.
  8. I like these beans very creamy, so I stir frequently.
  9. Cook 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on age of beans.
  10. Add potatoes, bring to boil again,  and cook with low simmer  until tender and easily pierced with knife, about 30 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  12. Add more broth if you like a thinner soup.
  13. This soup thickens very much after cooling, so add broth or water on reheating, with adjusting salt to taste.


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2 thoughts on “Navy Bean Potato Soup

  1. Linda

    First, I agree, every day is soup day!
    Second, navy bean (yay to you with potato) soup garnished with freshly chopped onion… perfection.


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