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Senate Bean Soup for Two

May 23, 2014

By Kath Dedon


Although Senate Bean Soup may be the simplest soup I’ve ever made, it also is one of the best soups I’ve ever made!

I guess there’s a reason that Senate Bean Soup has been on the menu at the U.S. Senate’s restaurant for decades. Who knew it was so easy to make? The original recipe can be found on the Senate’s website. It serves 8. I wanted to try it, but I wanted to serve 2 so I adapted it to make 2 generous servings.

In the end, my version has proportionately more ham, onion, and butter. It was fantastic! The combination of the creamy navy beans and the smoked ham is a match made in heaven. Sometimes the simplest is the best!

If you’re cooking for 1 or 2 and want a warm bowl of comforting soup, give this Senate Bean Soup for Two a try. I think you’ll like it!


Senate Bean Soup for Two


Senate Bean Soup for Two

(Adapted from the recipe on the website)


This makes a very thick soup, which we liked. If you like a thinner soup, simply add a bit of hot water before seasoning it. Then season to taste with salt and pepper.


(print the recipe)


Generously serves 2


½ pound dried navy beans

1 quart hot water

12-ounce smoked ham hock

½ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Wash the beans in a colander and run hot water over them for a minute or two.

navy beans


2. Put the beans and ham hock in a pot. (I used a 3-quart pot.)

Add water and simmer


3. Pour the hot water into the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours, turning the ham hock a time or two and stirring occasionally.

4. Remove the ham hock and let it cool a bit.

5. Cut up the meat from the ham hock and stir it into the soup.

6. Cook the onion in the butter until it is starting to brown and add it to the soup.

7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. (I found that the ham hock added plenty of salt, so no additional salt was needed when I made it.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2014 10:27 am

    You can still get this soup for only 18 cents at McGuires Irish Pub & Steakhouse in Pensacola, Florida. My father-in-law gets it every time. 😉

    • May 23, 2014 10:36 am

      Wow! That’s the deal of the century, Carrie. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. May 28, 2014 11:40 am

    Ham and bean soup! That is what my Mom always called this. She would make it with some Irish Soda Bread on the side, sans raisins. 🙂

    • May 28, 2014 2:15 pm

      “Ham and Bean Soup” definitely defines this one, Raven. I bet your Mom’s Irish Soda Bread was great with it. (In my not-so-humble opinion, she made it the right way, too. Raisins do not belong in Irish Soda Bread!)

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