Famous Senate Ham and White Bean Soup

So, this recipe is famous because it’s been served in the U.S. Senate restaurant ever since 1901. I, on the other hand, was just introduced to it this fall, and it’s already one of my favorite meals. Who’d guess that a ham bone and beans could make something so delicious? The recipe comes from my older copy of the Joy of Cooking.

Senate Ham and White Bean Soup

1 1/4 c. small dried white beans
7 c. cold water
1 small ham hock
1 large onion, diced
3 medium celery stalked with leaves, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

In a pot, soak the beans overnight in cold water (cover the beans with water until the water is an inch above the beans). Drain the water, and add the 7 c. cold water and ham hock. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer until the beans are tender, 1 1/4 hrs. Take the bone out, remove extra meat and dice it; discard the bone, skin, and fat.

Return the meat back to the pot and add the remaining ingredients, except for the parsley. Simmer until the potatoes are soft, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the soup with a potato masher until the soup is creamy. Add the chopped parsley and serve.


2 thoughts on “Famous Senate Ham and White Bean Soup

  1. Cecily says:

    A friend offered me some of this as leftovers last summer during a play date that ended up running into lunch. It was so tasty. I immediately requested the recipe. When I make it, I try to freeze half of it so that I have a delicious meal waiting for those days when cooking is a little hard. I reheat it covered over a low flame.


  2. Natalie says:

    We also froze a large amount of this soup with great success. In fact, someone recently told me that freezing soups enhances their flavor . . . I’m not positive this is the case, but it seemed to work for this one!


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