CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Senate bean soup is a soup that’s served in the dining room of the United States Senate every day, in a tradition that dates back to the early 20th century. Personal Chef Bill Collins from ChefBill.com showed us how to make it on Election Day!
Senate Navy Bean Soup
8 cups hot (simmering) water
2 pounds dried navy beans
1 ½ pounds smoked ham hocks
1 large onion, peeled diced
salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse and prepare the beans as described below.
2. In a stock pot, bring the water to a simmer, and add the beans, and ham hock.
3. Simmer for approximately 1 ½ hours in a covered pot. Add the onion and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the onions and beans are cooked through.
4. Remove the ham hocks and set aside to cool. One it’s cool enough to handle, remove the remaining meat from the bone, and add it to the soup.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper
Soaking the beans (as recommended by The Bean Institute):
1. Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
2. Heat to boiling and boil for an additional 3 minutes.
3. Remove beans from heat, cover and let stand for 4 to 24 hours.
4. Drain beans and discard soak water.
5. Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.