1930s Ham & Bean Soup


  • 3 cups dried navy beans
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 meaty ham hock or 1 cup cooked ham, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water, plus more, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, minced, to taste


  1. Rinse and sort the beans. Soak the beans according to the package directions.

  2. Drain and rinse the beans.

  3. In a Dutch oven, combine the beans, the tomatoes, the onion, the ham hock, the broth, the water, the salt, and the pepper and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat, cover the Dutch oven, and simmer the soup until the beans are tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Add more water to the soup if needed.

  5. Transfer the ham hock from the soup and let it stand until it is cool enough to handle.

  6. Transfer the meat from the ham hock and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

  7. Return the ham to the soup and cook until it is heated through.

  8. Garnish the soup with the parsley.

  9. Serve.

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