Anasazi Bean® Soup

by Nancy on February 28, 2012

in Main Dish,Soups

After our Easter ham, my mother would save the ham bone and pan drippings to make a big pot of navy bean soup. It was a good, hearty soup for the still chilly days of spring. I still make the same soup but with a few changes. First of all, I no longer save the pan drippings. I usually get a spiral cut ham with honey glaze these days. The sugar and spices in the glaze get into the drippings and add a terrible flavor to soup. Likewise, I don’t use the ham bone for stock. I usually get a small ham as I’m not serving 15 or more people like my mother did and the ham bone just isn’t large enough to make much stock. I substitute chicken stock as ham stock is not made. And then I have switched from navy beans to Anasazi beans. Well, I still think of it as the same soup.

I use to think all dried beans were created equal but not anymore. Some beans like navy beans and Anasazi beans hold their shape well when cooked. Others like pinto beans get mushy and fall apart. That’s why pinto beans are used for refried beans, they mash easily, whereas navy beans or Anazasi beans do not mash well and refried beans made with them are mealy. Other beans such as black turtle beans have distinctive flavors.

Anasazi beans are my favorite soup bean. The name Anazasi Bean® is a trademark used to popularize the bean as a gourmet bean beginning in the 1980s. The bean is also called Aztec bean, cave bean, New Mexico Appaloosa and Jacob’s Cattle. The bean cooks quickly (for a bean), stays firm and has a little more flavor than some other dried beans.

The only other ingredient that you might not be familiar with is chipotle pepper. Chipotle peppers are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried. The pepper gives a nice earthy taste and a little spice to the soup. I can buy the pepper either whole or ground. I use to buy it in the Mexican section of the grocery store but it is now in the regular spice section. I add either 1 whole pepper or 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper to the pot. I’m recommending that you start out with 1/8 teaspoon, add more if you like.

Anasazi Bean is a registered trademark of Adobe Milling in Dove Creek, Colorado.

Anasazi Bean Soup


  • 2 cups Anasazi beans
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 strips bacon or 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes or chicken stock base for 2 quarts liquid
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried and ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  1. Degas beans by placing beans and 2 quarts of water in 3 quart cooking pot, bring to a boil, remove from heat and place lid on pot, let cool (about 1 hour), then drain beans discarding water. Anasazi beans cook quickly for beans and will be cooked or nearly so by the time the water cools. Remove beans from pot if you haven’t already and continue with same pot.
  2. If you choose to use bacon fry until fat is converted to oil. This will take about 5 minutes, stir occasionally. The bacon will be “floating” in oil and the fat will be covered with tiny bubbles when it is finished.
  3. Saute onion in bacon fat (I leave the bacon in the pot) or olive oil.
  4. Add beans and remainder of ingredients including 2-2 1/2 quarts of water and simmer until vegetables are done, 15-20 minutes.



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