Monday, January 9, 2012


Senate bean soup

My subscription to Food Network Magazine has expired, and I decided not to renew.  Though the mag is filled with beautiful photos and lots of recipes, I decided to branch out in other areas.   (My current subscriptions include Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, Good Housekeeping and Eating Well -- and I love each one.)  

Before my Food Network Magazine (FNM) subscription expired, this recipe for Senate bean soup caught my eye.  According to FNM, this is the original recipe.  Perfect for a cold day, this soup will warm your innards.  Don't leave out the mashed potatoes.  They really make this simple but satisfying soup special.

Senate bean soup (2)

Food Network Magazine’s Senate Bean Soup
Rating:  8.5 out of 10

INGREDIENTS:  1 lb. dried navy beans, picked over
1 lb. ham (I used a meaty ham bone left from a spiral-cut ham)
1 large russet potato, peeled and quartered*
Sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup milk*
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper (I used 1/4 tsp. white pepper)

Put beans in a large bowl and cover with about 3 times their volume of cold water.  Soak overnight in a cool place.  (I placed beans and water in a large pot over high heat and brought to a boil, then covered, turned heat off and let beans sit for 1 hour.)

Drain beans and transfer to large pot or Dutch oven.  Add 10 cups water and ham bone.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook till beans are tender, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.  Transfer ham to a plate to cool slightly, then remove the bone, if used, and dice the meat.  Return meat to pot.

Meanwhile, cover potato with water in a saucepan and season with salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until potato is fork tender, 20-25 minutes.  Drain potato; transfer to a bowl with milk and mash with potato masher or fork until smooth.  Add to bean soup and stir until combined.  (*I took a shortcut here and used 1-1/4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes.  Since the mashed potatoes already contained milk, I left both the potato and the milk out this time.)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and parsley and cook till veggies are translucent, 7-10 minutes.  Add veggie mixture to soup, reduce heat to low and cook 1 hour, adding up to 2 more cups water if soup is too thick.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Yield:  8 servings  (Leftovers freeze beautifully.)


Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've eaten this soup in the Senate dining room. Lovely photos Judy.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Thanks for this. It's funny, I made a pot of Navy Bean Soup in my crock pot last night and let it simmer away all night. My kitchen smells good this morning! My recipe is similar but I've never put a potato in mine. I'll bet that makes for a really nice texture and flavor. Will give your recipe a go next time. I have lots of Ham left over from Christmas that I cut up and have ready for soup in my freezer.

Rita said...

It'the season I gues; this morning, I make a barley bean soup. Keeping this recipe.

lisa is cooking said...

Soup season seems to be causing cravings for me. I'm drawn to every bean soup recipe I see. This one looks so hearty. Love the mashed potatoes added!

Denise said...

Wow! That looks delicious. I think I'll make this on the weekend. It's supposed to snow!

Coleen said...

My all time favorite food in the world is ham and bean soup!!!

Katherine Aucoin said...

This is definitely a keeper! I love trying out different soups and this one is calling my name!

teresa said...

mmm, i absolutely love this soup, especially the fact that you used a ham bone!