Sunday, February 7, 2010

Senate Inspired Navy Bean Soup

According to the US Senate website, the Senate restaurant has been serving its popular navy bean soup every single day for over 100 years. Like everything in politics, the exact origins of the soup are a matter of much debate. However, most seem to agree that the legendary soup - made of navy beans simmered with some basic vegetables and a ham hock – is mighty tasty.

After finding a bag of dried navy beans in my cupboard (the best part of cleaning up my cupboard is finding things I didn’t know I had!), I decided to make a modified version of this hearty soup. I made mine a little healthier by adding in some extra veggies and substituting smoked turkey sausage for the ham hock. While I frequently give the actions of our Senators two thumbs down, I must say this soup deserves two thumbs up!

1lb. dried Navy Beans, soaked overnight
2 T. Olive Oil
2 Medium Onions, diced
1.5 Cups diced Carrots
1.5 Cups diced Celery
1 Cup diced Fennel Stems (this is optional, but I had it leftover from the fennel and white beans I made last week so I threw it in!)
5 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Bay Leaves
1 t. Thyme
¼ Cup White Wine
7oz. Smoked Turkey Sausage, diced
6-8 Cups of Stock or Water
Salt and Paper to Taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot; add the vegetables and sauté over medium heat until the veggies are tender (around 15 minutes). Once the vegetables are tender and starting to brown add the white wine to the pot, scrape any browned veggie bits from the bottom of the pan. Next, stir in the spices, sausage, and drained beans. Add enough stock or water to cover the beans and veggies. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, until the beans are very tender. Serve with a green salad for a very satisfying meal.

**You will notice the icon at the top for Slightly Induglent Tuesday - On Tuesday's Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free hosts a forum where other bloggers can post links to recipes on their blogs. Check out all the yummy stuff here:


  1. I made this soup about 10 years ago and loved it. Like all bean or pea soups it sets up like concrete overnight. I suspect if we kept adding water to it, it would have feed the family for a lifetime. They liked the soup so much they never complained. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  2. Hi Mary,
    I'm so honored to have you comment on my blog - I love your's and visit it frequently. This soup does get very thick, but with a little "refreshing" I've been enjoying the leftovers at lunch for the last couple of days. I hope you have a wonderful day too!

  3. I make this in the crock pot frequently. It's a great go-to soup and is definitely tasty and nutritious. I like to substitute in vegetable or chicken stock for part of the water. The flavor seems to intensify, I believe. I would love for you to join me for Crock Pot Wednesday whenever you can.

  4. Hi Debbie. I would love to join you for Crock Pot Wednesday sometime. Unfortunately I do not have a crock pot (gasp!) but I cook a lot of beans, soups/stews and other dishes that would work well in a crock pot. Thanks for the invite!

  5. I've always heard about this famous soup, but have never tried it (or any variations thereof). Your version looks delicious and hearty as you said. :-)