To make navy bean soup, place one pound of rinsed and drained navy beans in a large saucepan and cover them with approximately 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for five minutes, then cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Set the pan aside for one hour before draining the beans.
To a large soup pot or Dutch oven, add the beans, sprigs of fresh thyme, basil and rosemary, 2 large smoked ham hocks, one medium chopped onion and 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to achieve a slow simmer. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the beans and ham hocks are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the ham hocks. Allow the hocks to cool slightly before removing the meat from the bone and discarding the bones. The herb sprigs can also be removed at this time. Cube the meat and put it back into the soup. Heat and season the soup to taste before serving.Learn more about Cooking