U.S Senate Bean Soup
Senate Bean Soup can be served on any occassion that warrants a hot,steamy,filling and thick soup such as an Election Eve party (they do have those right?) or modest precinct gathering.
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- 1 lb
- dried white beans,great northern or navy
- water to soak
- meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
- 3 qt
- water to cook
- 3 medium
- onions,finely chopped
- 3 clove
- celery stalks,finely chopped
- 1/4 c
- finely chopped parsley
- 1 c
- cooked mashed potatoes (great use for leftovers) or 1/3 cup of instant potato flakes.
- salt to taste (if desired)
- 1/4 tsp
- black pepper
- snippets of parsley or chives to garnish
1Always wash beans and pick over beans before putting them to soak.Discard any beans that are discolored as well as any pebbles or floating particles.
There are 2 ways to soak dried beans before cooking. The least complicated-if you have time -is to soak them overnight in water to cover 2 to 3 inches above beans,to allow for absorption.Drain beans,discard water and cook.
2If time is a factor,the beans may be quick-soaked be covering them with water and bringing to a boil for 2 minutes . Set aside and allow to soak for 1 hour.Blanching beans for 2 minutes and soaking for 1 hour is the equivalent of 6 to 8 hours soaking.
3Drain beans and place them with the ham in a large (5 qt) soup kettle.Add 3 quarts of cold water.Bring to a boil,reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.Skim if necessary.
4In the meantime chop the onions,garlic,celery and parley.When beans and meat have cooked for 2 hours,add the chopped vegetables and the potato to the pot.Simmer for 1 hour longer or until beans are tender.
5Season with salt and pepper.
6Remove the bones and meat from the soup.Dice the meat into 1/2 inch pieces and return to pot.Discard the bones,Reheat to serve
7Final Step-This is a hearty,robust dish and so it should have hearty,robust service-from the pot at the table,ladled into heated soup bowls.Garnish with snippets of parsley or chives.
8THE HOUSE VERSION-Only beans,ham hock,and seasoning.The beans are bruised witha spoon or ladle to barely cloud before serving