Thursday, April 16, 2009

Senate Bean Soup

2 cups dried navy beans (1 lb)
12 cups water
1 ham bone, 2 pounds ham shanks or 2 pounds smoked pork hocks
2 1/2 cups mashed cooked potatoes (with milk and butter)
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup) (I left this out and increased the celery, and it was still full of flavor)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1. Heat beans and water to boiling in Dutch oven. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

2. Add ham bone. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender

3. Stir in remaining ingredients. (The mashed potatoes won't really mix in at first, but after simmering they'll make the broth nicely smooth) Cover and simmer 1 hour.

4. Remove ham bone; remove ham from bone. Trim excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir ham into soup. Makes 12 servings, about 1 cup each.

I found this recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook, which says it is served in the US Senate cafeteria every day. It's a delicious way to use up leftover Easter ham. I had fully cooked ham on hand, so I used that, but didn't add it until step 3.

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