Today I want to get the week's cooking over with as soon as possible with little effort, so I'm making navy bean soup.
It turns out that navy bean soup is only about as old as I am. The Food Timeline dates it to 1958, and claims that it came from a U.S. Navy mess cookbook. It provides this recipe, which is fine if you're trying to serve 100 hungry service people, but would need conversion for the rest of us.
My recipe, adapted from a crockpot version, is a bit different. It uses a 4-5 quart crockpot, three cans of Great Northern (a variety of navy) beans, a few chopped stalks of celery with leaves, 1-2 teaspoons of celery seed (very important), about a pound of cubed ham, a little cubed sausage, a chopped onion, a few bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Add water or beef broth until the fluid level is about one inch from the top of the crockpot. Cover and cook on Low for 12 hours or High for 6 hours. Other flavorings (e.g., mustard, garlic) may be added as desired.
Delicious, economical (especially if one uses ham bones or scraps instead of fresh ham), full of protein and fiber, and easy to make--no wonder the US Navy used it.