Not-Quite Senate Bean Soup

Total Time
4hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 4 hrs

This is based on the soup served in the U.S. Senate cafeteria - I altered the recipe somewhat to suit my tastes. Dark bread goes very well with it. The soup also freezes well, so you don't need to worry about eating it all at once.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat beans and water to boiling and boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Add ham bone and heat to boiling.
  4. Cover and simmer about 2 hours (or until beans are tender).
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  6. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  7. Remove ham bone from soup and trim meat from bone.
  8. Cut meat into small chunks; discard the fat and bone, and stir the ham into the soup.
Most Helpful

I had serious issues with the cooking instructions for this soup. After the first boil and stand, my beans were cooked, beginning to become mushy and sticking to the bottom of the pan after only 45 minutes of the 2 hour cook time. Luckily, I had checked on the pot and discovered this before it ended up being a pot of goo. I shortened the cook time by sautéing the onion and garlic in a separate pan and adding to the cooked beans. I also stirred just a few instant potato flakes into the bean soup for thickener instead of adding mashed potatoes. Overall, I saved the soup, and it did have good flavor. But, I won't be using this cooking method again.

Ms B. February 23, 2006