The only Navy Bean Soup I ever had growing up came out of a can and I didn’t like it very much, so I wasn’t inclined to make my own – until I had clients needing a version that was delicious and easy to digest for myriad special diets. This Navy Bean Soup version is legal for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Navy beans are one of few beans and legumes allowed on this diet. That means it has no grains and no starches in it that are tough for a compromised gut to digest. Kids with Crohns, inflammatory bowel conditions, irritable bowel, or multiple food allergies may be able to enjoy this satisfying soup. The key to this recipe working well for tender tummies is soaking the beans overnight before preparing the soup.
As I poked around for versions to launch from for this recipe, I found old standards like Senate Bean Soup – a thick and smoky soup that, in some versions, leans on mashed white potato to thicken it so it has a rich chowder-y texture. Potatoes are a no-go for SCD folks, so those are omitted here – but add them if you like! For the broth, I often use my own homemade chicken broth which is SCD legal in its preparation. If this isn’t an option, look for unsweetened plain organic chicken broth in quart boxes such as Imagine brand Organic Chicken Bone Broth.
Rinse the dried beans in a colander with running water until foamy bubbles diminish or disappear.
Place the rinsed beans in a large pot and cover with filtered water. Add ~ 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and let soak overnight, or for 8 hours.
After soaking, drain the beans and rinse thoroughly, then set aside.
Wipe the large pot dry. Add bacon fat, ghee and olive oil and melt over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, celery, parsley, and scallions. If desired, add other vegetables here also.
Cook these til nearly soft, about five minutes. Add thyme and bay leaves, and stir vegetables to blend herbs throughout.
Add rinsed beans and stir with vegetables and herbs to evenly combine everything. Then cover with 8 cups (2 quart boxes) of chicken broth. Stir again to distribute everything evenly throughout the broth.
Bring to a low boil. Add honey, optional maple syrup, tamari, and lemon juice. Cover to simmer at low boil for 2-3 hours, or until beans are very soft.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sprinkling of fresh parsley leaves and enjoy!
So simple. How did I overlook this combination my whole life? This is an easy dish that I love simmered on stove top in an iron skillet. I used this smoked paprika from Savory Spice Shop, but there are hotter varieties if you like heat! You can also find an organic smoked paprika here. I use boneless thighs because they are more tender and flavorful than breasts, but either can work. And if you are lucky enough to have some of your own chicken fat on hand rendered from broth that you made, that works well as a fat in your skillet instead of olive oil and ghee. To try this on the grill, blend the melted fats, liquid ingredients, cooked onion, and spices and marinate chicken pieces for two hours; grill on medium heat for 6-8 minutes per side.
Smoked Paprika Chicken
Subtle smoke flavor makes this a really pleasing variation on chicken, even for picky little palates.
Combine the GF (or grain free, see below) flour blend and spices.
Dredge chicken pieces in the flour and spice mixture.
Melt ghee/butter with olive oil and/or chicken fat in the skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for two minutes.
Turn heat to medium high and add the dredged thighs. Sear/brown them lightly on each side - about two minutes per side. Once browned lightly, remove them to a plate off to the side.
Deglaze the skillet with the chicken broth, GF Tamari, and GF Worcestershire sauce.
Add the thighs back in, reduce heat to low-medium, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy! Delicious with roasted or mashed Jersey sweet potato and parsnip - plus a greens mixture of arugula, scallion, butter lettuce and sprouted pumpkin seeds.
This recipe makes four large servings or six smaller servings. For a grain free version, substitute the GF flour blend with cauliflower flower + potato starch, or cauliflower flower + almond flour, in one to one ratio.