Nostalgia, 1989: Creamy Navy Bean Soup

| November 17, 2009

The year is 1989.


Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative blares out of the speakers that precariously dangle over the bumping, indoor ice-skating rink.

All the neighborhood kids, including my sister and I, bundled up in over-sized winter coats, hats and mittens, speed ‘round and ‘round the rink.  With red, chapped cheeks and the sound of icy cold air whooshing past our ears, we ignore the numbness that creeps past our toes and fingers as the adrenaline pumps and we absorb the emotional depth of Bobby’s lyrics….


Yo, Teddy kick it like this/
Oh no no I can do what I wanna do/
Me and you together together/
Together together together/


All of the sudden, my sister crashes (SPLAT) to the ground.  Whoops.  Counter-clockwise traffic forces me to go around the entire rink before I reach her.

“Hey, you okay?”


My sister looks up at me.  An entire half of her front tooth is missing.  Before, there were two whole front teeth.  Now, there were only one and a half teeth.

We never found the other half of her tooth.  How could we?  Her tooth was white and so was the ice.

Some time went by before we could afford to fill in the missing half of her tooth.  During the interim, she ate with only one and a half front teeth.  This was fine and didn’t seem to bother her or anyone else, unless…. she ate soup.


She slurped her soup before she lost her half tooth, but now?  Without it?  The sound of her sucking in her soup through the gap in her mouth was on full whack and it was uNbEAraBle?#@$# – the’ sluuurrrrping,’ inhaling-of-soup sound almost killed the rest of us.  It was beyond annoying.  It made me want to punch her in her face.

This Navy Bean soup is in remembrance of her missing half tooth.


With the use of a potato, you can create an extraordinarily creamy texture without the use of too much (or any) cream.  At the same time, the Navy Beans are very mild in flavor and act as a gorgeous, absorbent canvas to display the woodsy, lemony thyme flavor and the cooked sweetness of the onions and garlic.  Super delicious sprinkled with a few bits of diced chive, piece of buttered toast or croutons.


Creamy Navy Bean Soup

1 cup of Navy Beans (I used dried, soaked for 4 hours, cooked separately for 1 hour)
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
1 tsp of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of cracked black pepper
4 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of cream (optional)


In a large, pre-heated soup pot on medium-low heat, add the olive oil, onions, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook (don’t burn onions!) until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add the potato, thyme, bay leaf and navy beans.  Move around the pot until combined.  Add 4 cups of chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer soup for about 15-20 minutes.

Turn off heat.  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy in texture.  Add cream (if using) and stir until well mixed.   Add more salt/pepper to taste.
Serve hot!

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Category: Recipe Vault, Soups, Travel & Culture, US & Canada

About the Author (Author Profile)

We all have a friend in our lives who is smart, witty, intelligent: you give her cold pasta and chicken and she will whip out a gourmet meal in 15 minutes, she makes chicken soup from scratch for her sick neighborhood even though she is nursing a cold herself… you know that friend who will always be there to drive common sense into you, but doesn’t realize that she is as perfect as they come as a mother, wife and friend. That is our Patty….

Comments (4)

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  1. Angie says:

    That’s a very creamy and flavourful bean soup!

  2. Alyson says:

    That looks like such a yummy soup! I love bean soups, I’ll definitely have to try it. The recipe looks simple also, that’s always a plus. Beautiful pictures! Thank you for the comment on my blog, it means a lot to me.

  3. Thanks for stopping by for a visit, I am very happy to be a vegetarian cooking inspiration to you. Your blog is gorgeous! I just discovered this vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon, that would be a great way for me to adapt this soup.

    I love your story, definitely brings me back too. Navy Bean soup definitely reminds me of my dad / childhood (also in the neighborhood of 1989)!

  4. Cheryl Dolby says:

    This recipe looks like a winner. I just made a huge crock pot full of navy bean soup but it wasn’t as good as usual. I searched internet and found your site. I will try to puree and add a bit of chicken soup and cream as you suggest.