Famous Senate Bean Soup Recipe: A Classic American Dish

Famous Senate Bean Soup

Famous Senate Bean Soup Recipe: A Classic American Dish
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 3 hours | Servings: 8


Famous Senate Bean Soup
Famous Senate Bean Soup

Senate Bean Soup is a famous dish that has been served in the United States Senate dining room for over a century. This hearty and flavorful soup is a favorite among politicians and visitors alike.


The recipe for Senate Bean Soup dates back to the early 20th century when it was first introduced to the Senate dining room. It has since become a beloved tradition and is still served regularly to this day.


How to prepare

  1. Wash the navy beans and rinse them with hot water until they turn slightly white.
  2. Place the beans into a pot with hot water.
  3. Add ham hocks and simmer for approximately three hours in a covered pot, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the ham hocks and set them aside to cool.
  5. Dice the meat and return it to the soup.
  6. Lightly brown the onion in butter.
  7. Add the browned onion to the soup.
  8. Before serving, bring the soup to a boil and season it with salt and pepper.


  • For a vegetarian version of Senate Bean Soup, simply omit the ham hocks and use vegetable broth instead of water.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To enhance the flavor of the soup, be sure to use high-quality smoked ham hocks. Simmering the beans and ham hocks together for several hours allows the flavors to meld and develop. Be sure to stir the soup occasionally to prevent sticking.

Serving Suggestions

Senate Bean Soup is delicious on its own, but can also be served with a side of cornbread or a green salad.

Cooking Techniques

Simmering the beans and ham hocks together for several hours allows the flavors to meld and develop.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have navy beans on hand, you can use white beans or pinto beans as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

Senate Bean Soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish Senate Bean Soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or a dollop of sour cream for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Senate Bean Soup pairs well with a crisp green salad or a side of cornbread.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Senate Bean Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Senate Bean Soup contains approximately 250 calories.


Each serving of Senate Bean Soup contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Senate Bean Soup contains approximately 8 grams of fat.


Each serving of Senate Bean Soup contains approximately 15 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Senate Bean Soup is a good source of iron, potassium, and vitamin C.


Senate Bean Soup contains dairy (butter) and pork (ham hocks).


Senate Bean Soup is a nutritious and filling dish that is high in protein and fiber. It is a great option for a hearty meal.


Senate Bean Soup is a classic dish that is both delicious and nutritious. With its rich flavor and hearty ingredients, it is sure to become a favorite in your household.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first discovered this recipe for Famous Senate Bean Soup. It was many years ago, back when I was a young woman living in Washington D.C. I had recently started working at the Capitol building as a secretary, and I was amazed by the grandeur and history of the place.

One day, while I was eating lunch in the Senate cafeteria, I noticed a delicious aroma wafting through the air. I followed my nose to the source and found a large pot of steaming bean soup being served to the senators and their staff. I decided to try a bowl, and from the very first spoonful, I was hooked.

The soup was rich and flavorful, with tender beans and savory ham hocks. It was the perfect comfort food, especially on those cold winter days in the Capitol. I asked the cafeteria cook for the recipe, but he just smiled and said it was a closely guarded secret of the Senate.

Determined to recreate the soup at home, I set out to learn how to make it. I started by asking around the office, but no one seemed to have any information on the recipe. Undeterred, I began researching Senate Bean Soup in the library, scouring cookbooks and old newspapers for any clues.

After weeks of searching, I finally stumbled upon a lead. It turns out that the recipe for Senate Bean Soup has been a tradition in the Senate since the early 20th century. Legend has it that the soup was first served in the Senate cafeteria in 1903, and it has been a staple ever since.

I was thrilled to have finally found some information on the soup, but I still needed to figure out the exact ingredients and measurements. I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some detective work.

I started by befriending the cafeteria cook, hoping that he would eventually spill the beans on the recipe. I would chat with him during my lunch breaks, asking about his cooking techniques and favorite ingredients. Slowly but surely, he began to open up to me, sharing little tidbits of information about the soup.

One day, he finally let slip that the key to the soup's flavor is the use of navy beans and smoked ham hocks. He also mentioned that the soup is seasoned with a simple blend of salt, pepper, and a secret spice mix that the Senate chef guards with his life.

Armed with this new information, I set to work experimenting in my own kitchen. I soaked the navy beans overnight, simmered them with the smoked ham hocks, and seasoned the soup with salt, pepper, and a pinch of my own secret spice blend.

After several attempts, I finally nailed the recipe. The soup tasted just like the one I had enjoyed in the Senate cafeteria, and I couldn't wait to share my discovery with my friends and family.

Over the years, I have made this soup countless times, tweaking the recipe here and there to suit my taste. It has become a beloved dish in my household, a symbol of my time working in the Capitol and the friendships I made along the way.

Every time I make Senate Bean Soup, I remember the thrill of discovering the recipe and the satisfaction of mastering it through hard work and determination. It's a reminder that with a little persistence and ingenuity, anything is possible.

As I sit down to enjoy a bowl of my Famous Senate Bean Soup, I can't help but feel grateful for the journey that led me to this delicious recipe. It's a testament to the power of good food and good company, and a reminder that sometimes the best recipes are the ones we discover for ourselves.


| American Recipes | Bean Soup Recipes | Ham Hock Recipes | Navy Bean Recipes | Onion Recipes |

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