Sunday, January 29, 2012

Senate Bean Soup

1 pound dried navy beans, picked over
1 pound ham (preferably with bone)
1 Large russet potato, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup milk
2 TBSP butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
pepper and salt to taste

Put beans in large bowl and cover with about 3 times their volume of cold water.  Soak overnight in a cool place.  Or, bring picked over beans to a boil, turn off heat, and let rest for 1 hour.

Drain beans and transfer to a large pot, Dutch oven or Crock Pot.  Add 10 cups of water and the ham.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour,30minutes or all day on low in the Crock Pot.  Transfer the ham to a plate , remove the bone , and dice the meat.  Return to the pot.

Meanwhile, cook the potato in water until tender, drain, mash with milk, salt and butter.  Add the mashed potato to the bean soup until combined.  You can also use left over mashed potato's.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and garlic.  Cook until translucent.  Add this mixture to the soup when ready.  You can also add these raw if you are cooking the beans in the crock-pot.

Use up to an additional 2 cups of water to adjust the soup to the thickness you prefer.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Comments.  This soup is served in three public Capitol Hill cafeterias currently and has been served on Capitol Hill since the turn of the 20th Century in the Senate Dining Room.  It is absolutely the best bean soup I have ever made.  My son, who does not usually like bean soup because of the texture, loves this soup.  I always make this soon after we have ham, and sometimes have been known to fix the ham in order to have the soup later.  Delicious!

Comments 2: I have made this now in the crock-pot and on the stove and have found the stove version is a bit better.

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