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.
2 TBS chopped parsley