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Senate Bean Soup

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Senate Bean Soup

  • Veg
    • 2 hrs 55 mins
    • Serves 8
    • Medium



    Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of soup on a rainy or wintry day? Today, we will tell you how to make the Senate Bean Soup – a staple that is served in the United States Senate dining room every day.

    It is essentially slow cooked navy beans and ham. With a few simple ingredients, you get a hearty, wholesome and delicious meal that you can enjoy with your entire family.

    Health Benefits

    The navy beans are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Being so high in fiber, eating navy beans keep you full for longer and curbs blood sugar levels from rising too high. Thus navy beans are exceptionally good for patients suffering from diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance.

    If you combine them with whole grains like brown rice etc, navy beans practically make up a fat-free, high protein meal that can be enjoyed at all times. But it doesn’t end there. Navy beans are also an excellent source of micronutrients like vitamin B1 and minerals like phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and folate.

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    How to Make Senate Bean Soup

    1. Rinse the navy beans and soak them in 3 times their volume of water. Keep this in a cool place, overnight.
    2. Drain out the water and transfer the beans to a large bottomed pot.
    3. Add 10 to 12 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Add the ham and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let it cook.
    4. After about an hour and a half, once the beans are tender, remove the ham. Shred the meat and return it to the pot.
    5. In another pot, boil some water. Season it with salt and cook the potatoes in it till they are tender to a fork. Take them out and mash them with the milk and pepper. Once smooth, add it to the beans pot.
    6. In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and add all the vegetables. Cook till they are translucent and the garlic is aromatic. Add this mixture to the soup pot.
    7. If you think the soup is too thick, adjust it to your desired consistency with some more water.
    8. Season with salt and pepper and simmer away till the beans have practically melted. Your hot pot of succulent soup is ready!


    The Senate Bean soup dates back to a tradition in the early 20th century. During the World War II, there were not enough navy beans to serve the soup on 14th September 1943. However, the next day, navy beans were back in stock and the soup is being served in the Senate every single day.

    The public can also try it between 11:30 am and 3 pm. They have to follow a strict dress code and carry a request letter from a senator for that. It is also available for the general public at the Capitol Visiting Center and Longworth Cafeteria on a rotational basis.


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