Congress may not be too popular right now, but the bean soup served there is just as popular as it was over 70 years ago. I was at a microbrew restaurant in
a couple of years ago and it was served up there for 35 cents a bowl. It was absolutely delicious, and not just because of the price. Hearty and robust, we all enjoyed a bowl. Florida
In his “The Complete Book of Soups and Stews”, Bernard Clayton Jr. provided the recipe that he obtained after enjoying U.S. Senate Bean Soup in 1940. And it is still a wonderful soup today.
1 pound dried white beans, such as great northern or navy
Water to soak beans
1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
3 quarts water for cooking
3 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup cooked, mashed potatoes
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper
- Either soak the beans covered with water overnight or cover the dried beans with water and boil for a minute and then let sit for one hour.
- Drain the beans and discard the soaking water.
- Put the beans and ham in a 5 quart saucepan.
- Add 3 quarts of cold water, bring to boiling and then simmer gently for 2 hours.
- When the beans have simmered for 2 hours, add the onion, garlic, celery, parsley and mashed potato to the pot.
- Simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
- Season with the salt and pepper.
- Remove the bones and meat from the pot.
- Dice the meat into ½ inch pieces and return to pot. Discard the bones.
You can garnish with chopped parsley or chives.
You don’t have to campaign to enjoy U.S. Senate bean soup. You can make it yourself and enjoy it without counting votes.