Recipe: US Senate Bean Soup

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Kristen Frederickson

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Have some ham hock hanging about? Make United States Senate Bean Soup! It’s a classic recipe and so-called because it has been featured on the Senate cafeteria menu for over 100 years for reasons lost in the mists of time… perfect with some crusty bread and a crisp white wine.

(serves 8)
United States Sen­ate Bean Soup

4 cups Navy beans (if you’re in Amer­ica; here in the UK I used hari­cots, or fla­geo­lets would be fine)

1 ham hock with meat still cling­ing to it

4 medium (Idaho) pota­toes

4 stalks cel­ery, chopped

2 white onions

4 cloves gar­lic, minced

Large hand­ful pars­ley, chopped


Bring the ham hock and beans to a boil in a large stock­pot cov­ered with water (and the ham cook­ing liq­uid if you’re lucky).

Mean­while, boil the pota­toes until soft, then drain and mash. Add to the ham liq­uid and mix thor­oughly.

Bring to the boil again, then add the chopped veg­eta­bles, includ­ing the pars­ley.

Bring to the boil one more time, then sim­mer for at least an hour (but indef­i­nitely will do).

When nearly ready to serve, take the ham hock out and when cool enough to han­dle, take the usable meat from it and add in bite-sized pieces to the broth.

Serve with crusty bread to soak up juices.

What’s your favorite soup recipe?

This recipe originally appeared on It is re-posted here with permission of the author.

Photo Credit: Kristen Frederickson


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