Senate Bean Soup

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

Recipe: #34135

January 21, 2020

"This famous soup has been been served every single day in the U.S. Senate dining room since the early 1900s. There are dozens of versions of this soup recipe (most variations add sliced carrots and/or diced potato), but this one is from the Senate website and sticks to the original recipe (although my instructions are expanded to include reviewer tips on how to perfect each step). The original recipe was made in 5-gallon quantities at a time and used mashed potatoes as a thickening agent. But when made in smaller batches (as in this recipe), the process of cooking the beans is usually sufficient for proper consistency, so potatoes aren't generally needed. NOTE: The lengthy prep time is mostly the minimal time needed for soaking beans. Actual hands-on prep is more like 10 to 15 minutes (for chopping, etc)."

Original is 8 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (241.3 g)
  • Calories 172.2
  • Total Fat - 10.1 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 52.7 mg
  • Sodium - 1415.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.5 g
  • Sugars - 0.7 g
  • Protein - 15.9 g
  • Calcium - 21.1 mg
  • Iron - 0.9 mg
  • Vitamin C - 2.8 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.8 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Place the dry navy beans in a bowl and cover them by 1 inch with water. Stir in a generous pinch of salt, cover bowl and let stand 8 hours (or overnight).

Step 2

Rinse beans in colander 2 to 3 times, and drain well. Place beans in a large stock pot. Add hot water, ham hocks and bone, celery and garlic. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to Low, cover pot, and let it simmer about 3 hours or until beans are soft, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes to prevent sticking.

Step 3

Remove ham hocks from soup mixture, and set aside 10 minutes (or so) to cool. Once it's cool enough to handle, cut the meat away from the bone. Dice the meat and add it to the soup pot (discard the bone, fat and skin). NOTE: The soup should begin to thicken by now. But you can add a small bit of mashed potatoes or 1 tablespoon of dry potato flakes at a time to thicken it. Or if it's too thick, you can add a few tablespoons of water to thin it to desired consistency.

Step 4

Melt butter in a skillet, and lightly brown the onion in the butter. Stir onions and parsley into the soup, and bring it to a low boil. Once it reaches a low boil, remove pot from heat.

Step 5

Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.


No special items needed.

1 Reviews

dienia b

Love this recipe it's just so good every one should have this in their rotation


review by:
(4 Jun 2021)

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