Can you believe Christmas is over?! I can’t, but I never can. There’s always so much anticipation surrounding Christmas for our family, you know with the presents, planning the big meal and family reunions, that I’m always a little sad when the excitement over the big day is done. I leave my Christmas tree up through New Year’s Day every, single year...I just can’t let it go before then.
For Christmas dinner this year we kept the menu very simple, but we enjoyed some our most-loved dishes. We prepared a honey-glazed ham, our favorite recipe for creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes, and a pot of country-style green beans with bacon. The meal was served with some buttery, soft, fresh-baked dinner rolls and we made a spiced apple pie and some homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
Oh, and that delicious, honey-glazed ham I mentioned…. it was huge! So, just two short days after Christmas I was thinking about recipes to re-purpose some the leftovers and one of my all-time favorite dishes made with ham is this classic U.S. Senate Bean Soup. I grew up eating this soup as my mother loves it too, but she always called it Navy bean soup.
As the name suggests, this style of bean soup is served in the dining room of the U.S. Senate building every single day and has been since 1903, according to the U.S. Senate website. The website also shares that the present-day recipe they use in the dining room no longer includes includes mashed potato. However, the recipe I grew up eating does and this flavorful soup just couldn’t be the same without it.
This soup does take a bit of time to make, but the incredible, smoky flavor builds up in each hour of cooking time and believe me, it is well-worth the effort. This soup is very satisfying as a main dish and it is perfect with served with some fresh-baked corn bread and/or a pretty fruit salad!
2 small potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed (no butter or milk)
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium stalk celery, thinly sliced or chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1. Pick through the beans checking for pebbles and then rinse well. Transfer the beans to a large Dutch oven and cover with 2 quarts of water. Add salt and pepper and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
2. Add one more quart of water to the pot and then add the ham bone or chopped ham and garlic. Bring the pot to a boil again, reduce heat and simmer for one more hour.
3. Add mashed potatoes, onion, celery, and parsley to the pot. Bring the water to a boil again, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for one more hour or until the beans reach desired tenderness.
4. If using a ham bone, remove it and slice off any meat, cut it into small pieces and return it to the pot. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste
5. Serve hot with some crusty bread or corn bread and enjoy!
Hello! I'm Marcelle. I am a proud wife and mother to two amazing kids. I'm also an adventurous home cook that loves to share recipes. This blog offers me the chance to share with you and family and friends who are far away. I'm so thankful you stopped by!