- 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 forU.S. Senate Bean Soup
"Perfect for a cold snowy night! Amazingly easy, sure to make your family happy."
"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!"