Navy Bean & Rosemary Soup

WHAT’S EASY TO MAKE, elegant to serve, and heaven to eat?  My Navy Bean and Rosemary soup. I served this perfumed puree at a dinner party last night, and you should have heard the raves. Everybody loved it. Here’s the menu from the party, and the recipe for the soup:

1. Appetizers – Assorted cheeses; sliced baguette; smoked oysters
2. Navy Bean & Rosemary Soup
3. Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
4. Arugula with Vinaigrette
5. Homemade Greek-style Yogurt with Raspberries

Navy Bean & Rosemary Soup
Ingredients for 6 servings as a main course; 12 servings as a first-course
1 lb navy beans
1/4 cup olive
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 9 inches in length)
1 Turkish Bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock
2 tsp kosher salt
Grinds of black pepper

Preliminary soaking of beans –  Soak the beans over night in a big bowl of water. Or, if you are in a hurry, do what I do: Pour the beans into a sauce pot, and add enough water just to cover them by one inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat, cover the pot, and let the beans soak for one hour. Drain.

1. In a 4-quart or larger soup pot set over low heat, saute the onions in olive oil until they become translucent — 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes.

2. Add the pre-soaked navy beans, the rosemary, the chicken stock, the bay leaf, the salt and about 5 grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the beans are very soft.

3. Remove the bay leaf and the bare rosemary stem (all the leaves will fall off during cooking).

5. Coarsely puree the soup in a food processor outfitted with the metal blade.

6. Taste carefully for seasoning. If you are going to serve the soup right away, return it to the pot for reheating. Otherwise, pour the soup into a big bowl and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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Related Posts:
French Baguettes
Homemade Cottage Cheese
Apples in Jack Daniels Custard


  1. I think that sounds like a lovely pot of soup to make on this chilly day.. Thanks for a great recipe..

    A question though.. Do you have something against immersion blenders? I have one from Cuisinart and I love the simplicity of blending my soups in the cooking pot.. Saves so much time & sometimes trouble. 😉

  2. KimH – It’s suddenly chilly here, today, too, and I’m enjoying this soup right now! Would you believe I don’t own an immersion blender?

  3. will swift says:

    Kevin served it at a dinner party last night. It was so good that I drank some of the remaining soup cold this morning-something I never do.

  4. Grazyna Kirsch says:

    Sounds very good. Love rosemary so I’m sure I’ll give it a try.

  5. That sounds good! As a vegetarian, I would use vegetable stock, either homemade or one of the good organic brands on the market.

  6. Judy Pennington says:

    That soups sound delicious, but as it’s in the mid 70’s here today, I think it will have to wait awhile. Wonder if it would taste good chilled?

  7. Grazyna – In aromatherapy, rosemary is a de-stressing herb. No wonder we love it!

    Patrice – If you try this with vegetable stock, please let me know how it turns out for you. (Probably delish!)

    Judy – I haven’t tried to the soup cold, but this morning my partner did. He said it was wonderful.

  8. Sounds so good! I will use veg stock too….

    Thank you so much!

  9. Melissa Horton says:

    Everything tastes better in beautiful china…love your pattern!

  10. badger gardener says:

    I can almost taste it. I am going to bookmark this one for Fall when I have fresh rosemary and my all time favorite Yellow Indian Woman beans from the garden.

  11. Becky Bishop says:

    Made this today. Loved it! Fresh, creamy & nutritious. Thanks!

  12. Karen Yost says:

    Get an immersion blender! OMG-so much easier to use! You will wish you purchased one years ago.
    Also, looking forward to trying your recipe. I’m new to your website, share your distain for evil Monsanto, and have a pretty large garden myself. Looking forward to the friendship.


  13. Melissa – The two-handled soup cup is from an old set of Minton china my partner gave me one year. I love it, too.

    badgergardener – Do tell about the Yellow Indian Woman beans…

    Becky Bishop – So glad you tried it, liked it, and thought to tell me so! I’m making another pot this week.

    Karen Yost – Immersion blender is on my list!

  14. badger gardener says:

    I picked up my first Yellow Indian Woman Beans when the RH Shumway’s catalog featured it on their cover which coiincided w/ my reading Animal, Veg., Miracle in the jury holding room(think I told you that story) and I was an easy marketing target. The story is that they were brought by Swedish farmers to the New World and saved for generations by Native Americans in Montana. Their attributes are numerous. Sort of a cross between a navy and pinto bean. A little smaller than navy and I’ve read of some people cooking them w/o pre-soaking, so handy when you forget to prep. My favorite attribute is they maintain their shape beautifully even in the crock pot. Very creamy texture, wonderful w/ pasta or risotto dishes, as well as back-burner soups and stews.

  15. I use the 40 cloves of garlic recipe that is in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook and have discovered that it makes the perfect base for homemade chicken pot pie (there are almost always leftovers at my house because I always make too much of whatever). Yours would probably work equally well. I just do a fine chop of carrots and baby Yukon gold potatoes, toss in frozen sweet peas, and either thicken or dilute the sauce to the desired consistency and top off with homemade frozen puff pastry with little cut-outs on the top, brushed with an egg wash. I use a low glass casserole dish and score the pastry around the edge with a fork to make a border, and cook at about 400 degrees until the pastry is golden brown. You never even notice that it’s leftovers.

  16. I made this soup today because it’s been raining hard for three days now and it was lovely. I might cut back a bit on the chicken broth/stock because I like a little thicker soup, but the taste was really good. Thanks.

  17. Sharon – Your pot pie sounds swoon-worthy. As for the soup — by all means cut back on liquid to achieve a thicker puree. Thick or thin, the bean-garlic-rosemary combo is delicious!

  18. Donna Clary says:

    Made this three night ago. Neglected to puree’ it, still wonderful. Just the right mixture of herbs/spices. Delicious. Will make it many more times…also, very easy and economical.

  19. Made a lovely lamb stock from the leg of lamb served Christmas
    Day. Will use it for this recipe. Merci Kevin!

  20. #8 was my post from March. The soup was wonderful! We had a vegetarian friend with us for that and the veg stock was perfect. I use it often.
    Many years ago when I had some dental work done and needed to eat only soft food, I made white beans and pureed them, then before serving added some cream. Yum! All kinds of beans are on my ‘like’ list!

  21. Bon jour Cathy – Ooo that sounds wonderful!

    Pam – So glad you tried the soup. Maybe I’ll add a bit of cream to the batch I made today.

  22. I just made this, and it is amazing! Who would have thought such a simple list of ingredients could produce something so rich and delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  23. Hi Kristin – Thanks for taking the time to let me know you tried — and liked — the soup!

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