My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Monday, October 17, 2011

U.S. Senate Bean Soup

It is going to be colder than a witches' behind here for the next few days. Perfect hearty soup weather.

There's a reason this soup has been on the menu of the U.S. Senate restaurant every day since 1901. I double this because the longer it sets the better it gets.

U.S. Senate Bean Soup
about 6 cups
print recipe

1 1/4 cups small dried white beans, such as navy or Great Northern, rinsed and picked over. Soak overnight in water to cover by at least an inch

Drain and place in a soup pot, along with:
1 small ham hock
7 cups cold water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ham hock (leave the soup at a gently simmer). Discard the bone, skin, and fat; dice the meat. Return it to the pot and 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 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon 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 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. I have a pork hock in the fridge,, I'm giving this a go instead of slpit pea,

  2. thank you thank you!!! as soon as i return from my trip, i am making this. this is perhaps my favorite soup. i used to literally live on this soup. i always eat it with captain crackers and lots of black pepper. mmmmm...wish i had some right now!

  3. We are expecting seriously cold weather too! I'm dreading it as I've got to sit at a Football Game all night on Wednesday :(

  4. My mother lived in Washington DC for a while and she always talked about Senate Bean Soup. I don't know if she ever tasted the real thing. (Can regular citizens eat in the Senate dining room?) Anyway, she make great navy bean soup with lots of ham in it. I still make it myself. I make my bean soup in the crock pot now because I don't have trouble with the water evaporating.


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