Senate Bean Soup

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings: 8-10
  • About This Recipe

    “This is an old recipe given to me by my mother. I have tasted different versions but this one is my family’s favorite.”

    Ingredients

  • 1lbdry navy beans
  • 1meaty ham bone
  • 1cupchopped onion
  • 2garlic cloves, minced
  • 1cupchopped celery
  • 2/3 cupmashed potato flakes or 1 1/2 cupsmashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cupchopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoonspepper
  • 1teaspoonground nutmeg
  • 1teaspoonoregano
  • 1teaspoonbasil
  • 1bay leaf
  • salt, to taste
  • Directions

  • Wash and sort beans; in large kettle, cover beans with 6-8 c hot water.
  • Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
  • Add another 2 quarts of cold water and ham bone.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer 20-30 minutes until beans are tender.
  • Remove ham bone, trim off meat and return meat to soup; remove bay leaf.
  • Serve hot; freezes well.
  • Reviews

  • “This is the best!! I followed your directions exactly and wouldn’t change a thing. The beans were very tender. The soup was rich and creamy and had the most wonderful ham flavor. The ham bone really makes a difference. Thanks Nurse Di. “

  • “I have made this soup twice since finding this recipe site. We think it is the best and I have tried quite a few bean soup recipes. So creamy and thick. I used the ham bone but it wasn’t all that meaty so I added some chopped up leftover ham. Wonderful and thanks for sharing this recipe.”

  • “This was absolutely wonderful.Smells great cooking, tastes even better.I couldn’t find a ham bone, so I used one of those packages of ham cubes (real ham, just cut in cubes).Still tasted awesome.”

  • “I have wanted to make this for a long time, but didn’t because I didn’t have a ham bone. I recently discovered that you can purchase them at the grocery store. So, having obtained the sacred ham bone, I made this incredible soup. The flavor is unbelievable. I added some extra chunks of chopped ham because we like it so much. Great creamy texture and full of tender beans. This is one heckuva soup recipe you’ve got here.”

  • “I have tried many bean soup recipes and this one is the best I think. I used potato flakes and the result was a very creamy texture. The ham flavor made me drool. A top-notch comfort food for sure. Thanks Nurse Di.”

  • “After just one taste, our eyes were rolling in the back of our head. This soup is AWESOME!!! I followed your directions to a tee. I definitely agree, the secret is in the ham bone. The soup had such a soothing and comforting effect on both my husband and me. Thanks Nurse Di. “

  • “Very good soup but a little too much basil for our tastes. Next time will reduce the basil to 1/2 teaspoon.”

  • “WOW!!…deeeelicousssss…best recipe yet that I’ve found for Bean Soup, bar none!!”

  • “Oh MY!!! I thought I had made Senate Bean Soup many many times before. I thought I had made wonderful bean soup for decades. This is absolutely one of the best soups I”ve ever made, and I make a lot of soup. I was leary of the addition of nutmeg and other spices, but it was delicious! I made it in my Nesco, and did add some water from time to time, and cut down a little on the spices, but will make this again and again! Didn’t even need to add potato flakes or smash some of the beans. Perfect!”

  • “The proportions for water are completely off in this recipe.You must have meant either to drain the soaking water OR to add 2 cups, not 2 quarts, of water later.I made it as directed–watery, tasteless, a waste of money.So I added more flavor, which sadly meant a lot of salt, to make it edible.I will make again and significantly decrease the water.”

  • “This was very good. Reminded me of my mom’s altho she didn’t use potatoes….I like the way they thickened the soup. Served this with some hot corn bread, and we were in southern heaven!”

  • “Wonderful soup!I never would have thought to put nutmeg in it, and it’s very good, thanks for the recipe!”

  • “Great soup, quick and easy to make.thanks for sharing”

  • “I am making this soup at this very minute.My house smells incredible and the soup base is delicious….giving this recipe to all my friends!!!”

  • “This was good. I doubt I will make again as my husband couldn’t get over the fact it wasnt regular ham and beans. i liked the navy beans in it. Thanks!1”

  • “Made this a couple of weeks ago & followed the recipe except I put a couple of cups of diced potatoes in because I don’t buy instant mashed potatoes.I usually mash my beans a little anyway, so I just mashed the potatoes in the soup with the beans, I do also add about half a cup of small-dice carrots for both color and nutrition. Anyway, the soup is delicious, and my husband has me making a huge pot of it again today!I think the herbs/spices are just perfect!Thanks for posting ratherbeswimmin’!!”

  • “AWESOME!!!Best bean soup ever.I used 3 cans of white kidney beans because I didn’t want to wait a day.Freezes beautifully.”

  • “I’ve been trying for years to replicate an excellent Senate bean soup I had in a restaurant and not only did I replicate, I improved it!I’m a ‘soak the beans overnight’ kind of person so I did that in place of the boiling step.I used a locally smoked ham hock and then added some leftover ham scraps when adding the meat from the hock.Also, I started it kind of early and let it simmer on the back of the stove so I probably cooked for about 4 hours total and I mashed the beans down a bit with a potato masher, which adds to the creaminess.I read some of the comments from people who said they had sticking issues with the potatoes so I added the potato flakes after I removed the ham hock and then just stirred every once in a while and it was fine, no sticking.I do like to remove the ham hock, or bone, before adding lots of the major ingredients because it seems that the removal of that bone sucks some of the veggies and stuff along with it.BUT, I don’t like to remove it too soon because it’s an integral part of the flavor in the soup.Anyway, I made a really good pot of soup on this snowy afternoon (yes, it’s April but it snowed here) and my husband got the warm fuzzies from it and went to sleep and for that, I thank you very much for this excellent recipe :)”

  • “I used large lima beans and added some carrots as well.Good stuff!Made in the crock.Thanks.”

  • “Loved this soup. Almost followed the directions EXCEPT that I used less nutmeg (to taste) & only used 1/2 c of the potato flakes… I suspect it might be wiser to use left over cooked potatoes. When everything was added (after the beans & ham simmered for 1 1/2 hours), the soup got VERY THICK immediately & required constant stirring until the veggies cooked to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Next time I make this recipe if I’m using potato flakes, I’ll WAIT to add the potato flakes until the last 5-10 minutes of simmer time at the very end. IMO this will allow the spices blend better/faster when adjusting the “salt & nutmeg to taste”… & spare the beans and veggies the stirring needed to keep from having sticking on the bottom of the pot.”

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