Navy Bean Soup (White Beans) With Arugula

Navy beans (as in most other beans) are high in dietary fiber which means it will help you feel full faster because they are so high in fiber. They are high in folate, magnesium, thiamin, iron, and copper to name a few. Beans are an inexpensive option to meals and yet there are so many ways to incorporate them as a main dish or side item.

I always prefer to use dry beans over canned. You can soak them overnight and they are ready to cook the next day. Canned beans won’t taste as fresh in a health supportive recipe. I also avoid canned products because of the known fact that cans are lined with BPA.

Having said that, if you are short on time by all means, use the canned navy beans.

The word “shoyu” might be new to you. There are three types of soy sauces you can buy in the market namely shoyu, tamari, and soy sauce.

Soy sauce is Chinese, shoyu is Japanese, and tamari is wheat free soy sauce. Those who are trying to stay away from wheat, should use tamari and make sure the bottle says “Tamari as well as wheat free”.

A traditionally produced shoyu is the most superior product both from health perspective and taste. Look for bottle that says organic or traditionally brewed.

If you don’t have shoyu or tamari, you can use soy sauce – don’t let that factor alone stop you from trying the recipe.


1 cup dried white navy beans. Soak overnight.

1 bay leaf

1 quart vegetable stock

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 pound plum tomatoes

1 small onion

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried marjoram

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon shoyu (or tamari if you want to use wheat free)

1 bunch arugula or ½ pound fresh spinach

1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds.


  1. Drain the beans and place them in a pressure cooker or 4 to 6 quart saucepan. Add a bay leaf, stock, and salt; pressure cook for 20 min or simmer for 45 to 60 min until well done and tender.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes for 10-15 sec in boiling water. You want to be able to peel the skin and remove the seeds inside before chopping coarsely. This in the culinary world is called “Concasse”.
  3. Chop the onion finely; mince the garlic. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic.
  4. Add in tomatoes and herbs and stir well. Cook for a few minutes
  5. Add in the navy beans with their cooking liquid, adding more water or stock if the soup is getting too thick. Season with the remaining sea salt, pepper and shoyu or tamari. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. One or two minutes before turning off the stove, add in arugula or spinach. You can give it a quick chop or tear into big pieces.

Just a note not to overcook the arugula or spinach. One minute in the simmering soup is more than enough cooking. It will wilt but still have a beautiful green color to the soup.

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By Ramon Munoz