U.S. Senate Navy Bean Soup

We’ve experimented with different navy bean soup recipes over the years; this time we’re trying an authentic-seeming Food Network recipe (I compared it to the actual U.S. Senate cafeteria recipe listed on Wikipedia and it’s a match in ingredients and relative proportions, right down to the mashed potatoes). So why not just use the recipe on Wikipedia? Because it’s sized to feed multitudes; this one’s sized for a family. If, like the deMenthes, you’re cooking for two, leftover storage won’t require a second refrigerator.

U.S. Senate navy bean soup & biscuits

U.S. Senate Navy Bean Soup

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb dried navy beans
  • 1 lb ham w/bone (or one ham hock plus some cut-up leftover ham)
  • 1 large potato, peeled & quartered
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley


Cover beans with water and soak overnight. Drain beans, place in large pot or Dutch oven, add ham and 10 cups water. Heat until it begins to roll, then reduce heat to low and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you used a ham hock, remove it now, pick off the meat, and return meat to the pot.

Meanwhile, cover potato with water in a saucepan, add salt, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low or simmer and cook potato until fork-tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain, put potato in bowl with milk and mash until smooth. Add mashed potato to the beans & ham and stir until smooth.

While potato is cooking, melt butter in skillet over medium heat, add chopped onion, garlic, and celery and cook until translucent, 7-10 minutes. Add vegetables to the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer another hour. Salt & pepper to taste, garnish with chopped parsley.

This was our dinner tonight. I made the soup and Ditalini made the biscuits. We’re totally sold on this recipe. The other navy bean soup recipes on Crouton’s Kitchen (this one and this one) are good, but this one is great!


Amateur cook and barbecue fanatic.

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