Create your day

US Senate Bean Soup

Last week we had perfect spring weather. This week it’s raining. Such is life in the Pacific Northwest. Where the change in weather goes, so does what I feel like eating. No one likes to bbq in the rain, and since it was feeling cool again I was in the mood for soup. I opened the Joy of Cooking to the soups, dove in, and submerged with the US senate Bean Soup.

I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful it was, especially given how simple the recipe is. I paired it with homemade honey wheat bread and we had ourselves a nice comforting, easy dinner. According to the cookbook, this particular soup has been on the menu of the US Senate restaurant every day since 1901.

Here’s the recipe:

Soak (preferably overnight, although I skipped this step and it turned out fine): 1 1/4 cups small dried white beans such as navy or Great Northern

Drain and place in a soup pot along with:

1 small ham hock and 7 cups of cold water

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

Remove the ham hock (leave soup at a gentle simmer).

Discard the bone, skin and fat; dice the meat.  Return it to the pan an add:

1 large onion, diced

3 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped

1 large potato, peeled and finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Simmer until the potato pieces are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher until the soup is a bit creamy.

Stir in:

2 TBS chopped parsley


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