Navy Bean Soup
U. S. Senate Restaurant Famous Bean Soup
Recipe By: Sen. & Mrs. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia
2 pounds small navy beans -- from Michigan
1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks
1 whole onion
butter -- to taste
salt and pepper -- to taste
Take two pounds of small Michigan Navy Beans, wash and run through hot
water until beans are white again. Put on the fire with four quarts of hot
water. Then add smoked ham hocks, boil slowly approximately 3 hours in
covered pot. Braise one chopped onion in a little butter, and when light
brown put in bean soup. Season with salt and pepper then serve. Do not add
salt until ready to serve. Serves 8
Notes: Whatever uncertainties may exist in the Senate of the United
States, one thing is sure: Bean Soup is on the menu of the Senate
Restaurant every day. The origin of this culinary decree has been lost in
antiquity, but there are several oft-repeated legends. One story has it
that Senator Fred Thomas Dubois of Idaho, who served in the Senate from
1901 to 1907 and sat as chairman of the committee that supervised the
Senate Restaurant, gaveled through a resolution requiring that the bean
soup be on the menu every day. Another account attributes the bean soup
mandate to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota, who expressed his fondness
for it in 1903. In any case, Senators, and their guests are always assured
of this hearty, nourishing dish. They know they can rely upon its
delightful flavor and epicurean qualities.
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