One of the great things about slow cookers is that you can dump a bag of dried beans into the pot and let them cook all day without any prior soaking. Canned beans are certainly convenient, but for flavor and texture I much prefer using dried beans. Here is a super easy but delicious and filling ham and bean soup that can be prepped in just minutes in the morning and then leisurely enjoyed later for dinner. This soup is absolutely perfect paired with corn bread and good butter. I really like Kerrygold pure Irish butter. It’s worth seeking out.
How to make Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup
2 & 1/2 quarts water
1 pound Navy Beans
1 large onion cut into thin rings
1 large smoked ham bone/ham hock/pork chop
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste
Rinse navy beans thoroughly with fresh water and pick out any bad beans or foreign objects.
Then, into a 6-quart slow cooker:
Place half the onion slices at the bottom of the slow cooker and spread to distribute.
Put the ham hock in the center of the cooker on top of the onions and add the beans.
Add the rest of the onions and sprinkle the thyme and teaspoon of salt across everything.
Put the bay leaf in the pot and add water.
Turn slow cooker to low and let cook 8 to 10 hours until beans are tender.
Remove bay leaf and ham hock.
Use a fork and knife to shred meat from the bone and return the bits of ham to the slow cooker and stir to incorporate.
Add salt and pepper to taste.