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.
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