Bill Knapp’s Recipe for Navy Bean Soup With Ham

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On a chilly eve, try out this navy bean soup with ham recipe from Bill Knapp's restaurants.


  • 2 cups dried navy beans

  • Cold water
  • 1/2 pound lean ham, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Wash and sort beans. Soak overnight in enough cold water to cover. Drain.
  • In stockpot, combine beans, ham and garlic salt.
  • Add 2 to 3 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until beans are tender.
  • While the beans are cooking, in a separate pan boil the onion, celery and carrots in enough water to cover for 30 minutes.
  • Drain and add to the beans and ham and continue cooking for 45 minutes more.
  • Put soup contents in blender or food processor to slightly puree the soup. (You will need to do this in batches.)
  • Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Note: To use canned beans, allow 3 (15-ounce) cans undrained Northern beans and omit 1 quart water. Continue recipe as directed.

The Bill Knapp’s Restaurants were located in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana until the chain, after more than 50 years in business, closed in 2002. This recipe was adapted from one published in The Detroit News.

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