- 1 pound dried great northern beans
- 1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup mashed potatoes or 1/3 cup instant potato flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Minced parsley or chives
- Rinse and sort beans. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until beans are softened.
- Drain and rinse, discarding liquid. In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, place the beans, ham bone or hocks and 3 quarts water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Skim fat if necessary. Add the onions, garlic, celery, parsley, potatoes, salt and pepper; simmer 1 hour longer.
- Set aside ham bones until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to Dutch oven. Heat through. Sprinkle with parsley or chives. Yield: 8-10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Reviews for U.S. Senate Bean Soup
"I have been eating this soup for well over 60 years, as this is how my mom made it, and how I make it, with a few changes. The actual Senate version uses navy beans, and for 1 lb of beans, we used 1 large or 2 medium onions and a bit more garlic. It says salt to taste, which varies depending on the saltiness of the ham, but be sure to add enough pepper, at least 1/4 tsp or more (I add at least 1/2 tsp or more), again, depending on the ham and what glaze, if any, was used. If I don't have a ham bone, I use 2 large ham hocks or 3 medium ones. Sometimes I just make ham stock from the bones/hocks and can or freeze that, so I can make this soup quickly using 4 cans of beans (drained/rinsed) and go from there. To make the stock, I just cover the bones with about 4 qts of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 4 hours. Then I pull off what meat I can, strain the stock, and can or freeze. This stock is also good in pea soup."
"Have been making this very delicious soup for years, only difference I add 2 diced carrots and one diced potato & add 1/3 cup potato flakes in the last hour. (Also can use 1 cup left over mashed potatoes). Freezes well and makes about 3 to 4 quarts."
"We've made this many times, and it goes well with a nice salad and muffins or rolls."
"I use chicken stock for the water, add carrots, and use 5 cans of beans! delicious! have made this so many times!"
"A wonderful bean soup recipe. Made it the other day and will be a family favorite now. Followed the recipe as given, except left out the parsley. Thank you T of H!"
"We have used this recipe for years. It is our New Year's Day tradition...with a pan of cornbread.We use 1 cup each of diced onion, carrots & celery. Sometimes we use diced ham for a less fat content."
"SweetPea here again-to be more specific-I used two 48 oz.jars of Randall Deluxe Great Northern Beans, a 5 quart crockpot, and I did NOT use the potatoes or flakes-adding the 2 cups of chicken broth didn't dilute it much-it was still thick and wonderfully filling-not to mention it makes the house smell wonderful!"
"This was the best bean soup I had ever tasted, but let me in on how I altered it! First, I used two large jars of Great Northern Beans that were already prepared and poured them over a smoked ham roast, juice and all, in a huge crockpot. Then I added some celery and onions that I had frozen. Added some garlic powder and brown sugar on top. Last minute extra guests caused me to add 2 cups of chicken broth towards the end to make it go further, but they didn't show...but it didn't matter-there wasn't any leftover! Served with three loaves of French bread-this all served five adults and two children with two bowls a piece. Definitely a "make again"! Cooked on low for over 7 hours and then turned it to Keep Warm until time for dinner."