Shortcut Senate Bean Soup and Mary Poppins Visits Bountiful


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I like bean soup. Here is my personal recipe. Begin post now…

~giggles~ Just kidding. Y’all know I can’t bring you a recipe without talking your ear off first! Senate Bean soup is a big old tradition in D.C. that has been served in the Senate restaurant every day. By the way, where IS the Senate restaurant and how do I get to eat there on my next trip to D.C.?

So anyway, the recipe is all over the place and several restaurants proudly serve Senate bean soup on their menu. It’ s a famous soup that is flavorful, filling, and comforting. But in my mind, it needed to be made a bit more accessible for folks who don’t have all day to cook their beans or forget to soak them the night before (my most common problem). So I developed my own shortcut recipe and sent it to the ultimate judge: Mama.

Mama loved it. Grandmama loved it. Daddy loved it, and I Loved it. That about sums it up so here we go… (my tangent appears on down in this post)

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Normally the recipe calls for dried beans, cooked from scratch. While I’m a huge fan of dried beans, I wanted to re-do this soup so that someone could work all day and then come home and be able to whip it up for supper, so I used canned beans.

You’ll need: 4 cans Navy beans, minced garlic, one onion, stick of butter or margarine, four chicken bullion cubes, 3 stalks celery, and some ham hocks*.

You can use any leftover ham you have, though. I like the smoky flavor the ham hocks give this soup but if I’d had leftover ham I would have used it instead. I love using up leftovers!

*Ham Hocks may be purchased near the hams. They are usually two or three dollars for a couple of them.

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You’re also going to need instant mashed potatoes.

Now y’all know my take on these. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until I was sixteen. I was invited to dinner at a friend’s house and her mom sent me into the pantry to get the potatoes. I went in there and looked all over the place trying to find the bag of potatoes and came out empty handed. She walked right in there and came out with a box. A box? I had to have that one explained to me and then went home and explained it to Mama! I love pretty much anything that makes life easier but reserve instant potatoes for use as soup thickeners.

Don’t get me wrong, if instant potatoes are your thing then fly your flag high and I’ll salute it.

Long as no one tries to get me to eat seafood I can easily live in peace with instant potatoes and folks who put sugar in their cornbread.

Whatever cranks yer tractor.

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Okie dokie so here’s what I did. I put my ham hocks (which are already smoked) in some water, added my bullion cubes, and turned the eye on to let them simmer and soften up a bit so I can cut the meat off of them.

The ham hocks are also going to add that yummy smoky flavor to the water which will make it richer along with the bullion cubes.

I tend to use bullion cubes a lot because they are so much cheaper than broth. I buy a big old thang of ‘em at Sam’s Club when I have a membership (which I do right now) and when I don’t I just go and stand outside the door of Sam’s in a trench coat and fedora and wait until some young and trusting college student comes by and give ‘em a whistle “Psst. Hey kid…” ~pulls out a crisp ten dollar bill and waves it enticingly~ “look kid, I need somethin’…reckon you could help a gal out?” This is the part where I either smile sweetly or squint my eyes in a threatening fashion … depending on their response thus far.

I have a bit too vivid of an imagination, I know. So if I need bullion cubes and don’t have a membership at the time, I just ask Mama to get them for me. Sometimes I even break down and pay double at the grocery store. Still cheaper than broth.

So my point is the first thing you need to do is cook your hamhocks.

Put a lid on that pot and let them simmer while you do do everything else, preferably about thirty minutes or so.

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Then melt a stick of butter or margarine in a skillet. I’m using real butter, shocking I know.

It was leftover from one of the photo shoots for the cookbook. Y’all aren’t going to believe this but..

~leans in and widens her eyes to tell a story she still can’t believe~

When I signed on for this cookbook deal, I thought I’d have to make every one of the dishes to be photographed. I talked to the photographer and she set shoot dates and such I was thinking “How am I going to make sixty or seventy things in two days and NOT look like death warmed over in these photographs taken on the same days?”. Me and Mama had a time trying to turn that one over and come up with a way because lets face it, at the end of the day when I put supper on the table, I’m not exactly looking my best.

Well guess what? I was introduced to the wonderful world of “food stylists”. ~blinks and nods~

Seriously, I had no idea what that was, either. I pictured my food wearing feather boas and sashaying down some runway amid camera flashes and reporters feverishly scribbling notes about how the gravy glistened but didn’t quite form itself to the biscuits like it did last year…

Okay so if y’all ever write a cookbook here’s what you need to know. A food stylist shows up at your house with boxes and boxes and boxes. Boxes of wonderful things. Plates, ingredients, and…food. Already cooked. Already prepared. It’s kind of like Mary Poppins (which is what we’ll call her as I’m unable to give her real name for fear she will be kidnapped once folks know about her magical powers). Remember when Mary put that bag on the table and then started pulling out lamps and furniture and all of these things out of it?

POOF there’s a cake! Poof! There’s caramel corn. POOF! There’s my grandmother’s chocolate pie! (Wait til I tell you what a Prop Stylist does!)

My eyes just about bugged right out of my head and I was trying to be all nonchalant – like people walked in my house everyday and produced perfectly presented pies and cakes and such right there in the middle of my kitchen.

Meanwhile my husband and kids kept coming in and whispering “Are we gonna get to eat that? Do you think they’ll let us have some?” Their eyes were every bit as big as mine but they hadn’t gotten the memo on how we were going to try to pretend we weren’t the Beverly Hillbillies and Mary Poppins hadn’t just unveiled our new cement pond.

And let me tell ya (by the way, on Southern Plate, it is perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with “and”), when I say they were whispering, I want you to know that I have failed miserably in teaching a single person in my household the correct volume of a whisper. My husband has one of those voices that sounds to me like he is yelling all of the time and so as a result my kids inside voices SOUND LIKE THIS EVERY TIME THEY TALK.


I had a point here…

Oh yeah, Mary Poppins also brought all sorts of yummy ingredients in case she needed them during the course of the shoot. You know, sometimes you just wanna whip up a meringue or make a custard on a whim and while I truly believe (after what I’ve seen) that she could do so with just a snap of her fingers, she needed to have the proper ingredients to put on the counter so she could wiggle her nose and make them poof into whatever it was she desired at the moment.

Sidenote: Yes, my family did get to eat all of that food.

So…when she left, everything hopped back into her magic bag EXCEPT…


When I opened my fridge I was kind of surprised.  You see, butter is expensive. It’s like…$3.00 a box! I almost turned tail and ran out into the road to call for her on the off chance that she wasn’t already halfway to Birmingham. But they had left long ago (by the way, on Southern Plate, it is perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with “but” as well) and I knew it was too late.

So I closed the fridge. I left the kitchen. I thought about all of that butter.

I lasted all of one hour before pulling out two sticks and baking something.

I baked and baked and baked and baked. I even softened a stick and smeared some on Saltine crackers for me and the kids. My husband turned up his nose at the saltine but I explained to him “it’s real butter…you’ve got to try it.” and he ate it, not quite getting the significance but knowing it would shut me up – one of his primary motivations for doing most things, I think.

We ate butter, y’all. ~sighs~ and it was sublime.

And after a while, I only had one stick left.

And so I put it in this soup. For y’all. Because I love you and I want you to eat butter, too.

But you know..the thing that gets me is that…~sighs heavily and hangs her head~ Margarine is currently .60 a box and butter is about $3.00.

I know, I know, I know.

How about I compromise and buy butter on occasion? I just can’t bring myself to do it every day.

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So chop your celery and onions and add that to your melted butter (or margarine) along with the minced garlic.

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and cook it until it is browned a bit.

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Then take your ham hocks out of the pot and let them cool a bit before cutting off the ham and chopping it into little bits.

This ham is gonna be a little tough still so you’ll have to use a sharp knife to cut it into bits with.

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Now we’re gonna use those instant taters…

Add a cup of instant potatoes to the broth you cooked the ham hocks in.

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Stir that up. This is going to give your soup lots of body.

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Add your cans of beans, liquid included.

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Stir that up, too.

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Add your veggies, butter and all.

~lip quivers as she thinks on her last stick of butter~

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Stirry stirry.

Add your ham.

(pretend you see a picture of me adding ham)

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Add your salt.

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Add your pepper.

Stir all of that up and simmer for about half an hour or so.

BUT if you want, you can just cook it until its heated all the way and then serve it.

Ain’t no food police here.

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Serve with Jordan rolls.

This freezes VERY well. I took my leftovers and put them in a mason jar, leaving plenty of head space, and froze it to eat later.

“Later” ended up being the very next day but still…

Shortcut Senate Bean Soup and Mary Poppins Visits Bountiful
  • 4 cans Navy Beans, undrained
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 bullion cubes
  • 2-4 ham hocks (or leftover ham)
  • 1 C instant mashed potato flakes
  • Stick margarine or butter (1/2 C)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. Place bullion cubes in pot with six cups water. Add ham hocks or ham. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer thirty minutes.
  2. Place butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Saute until lightly browned.
  3. Remove ham hocks from broth and dice up when cool. Add instant potatoes to broth and stir. Add onion mixture, beans, and diced ham. Stir in salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to simmer for thirty minutes before serving.
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  1. Pepper says

    this is the way I have been making my bean soup for years – exception
    I add a bay leave (which I take out before serving) and 1 of the cans of beans has jalapenos in it. Or just add a bit of jalapeno to the pot. I also shred up a couple of carrots to add flavor and color. Plus if you have people who won’t eat their carrots, then they don’t even know they are in the soup.

    • Betty819 says

      Does that can of beans with the jalapeno peppers it it, make it really “hot” or just so that “it has a bit of Kick to it?” I make good bean soup but start with dry northern beans that get soaked overnight or at least 4 hrs. washed after that several time, use a 46 oz. can of tomato juice, chopped onion and let it cook down till the beans are tender. Before ready t to serve, I chopped up several hard boiled eggs in it about 15 min. before and it not only thickens the soup but adds a wonderful flavor. One thing to note, don’t keep heating over with the egg white in it, as it will taste like rubber after heated over and over. I will add in piece of left over cooked ham to the bean soup as it cooks for flavor. Also add salt and pepper but watch the salt! You may not have to add any salt, depending on the saltiness of the ham.

  2. Krista says

    Made these tonight and they were the best I have ever had! Hubby agreed even though I only had 2 cans of beans.. lol It was a little heavy on the ham and soup side! Next time I want to try it with 15bean mix. But then again, why mess with a good thing! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Chris says

    Christy, great recipe, I just made this last night and it was wonderful. And for all the folks who like doing things the easy way. Most grocery stores have a frozen chopped veggie mix called Mirepoix mix (its celery onions and carrots) that makes this recipe even easier!

    • Cheryl Bone says

      Chris, I buy this also or else take a slow Sunday afternoon and using the food processor, chop up my mix and freeze it in plastic screw on top containers or double freezer bags, I’m like Christy… whatever is on hand. I haven’t chopped celery per recipe in don’t know when!

  4. Lana says

    I’m a little shocked here…you just know you could buy 4 bags of dried beans for what you just spent on those canned beans…LoL. I almost died when I saw that canned black eyed peas here are over $2 a can!

    I love butter and we have to have it in the house all the time. I’ll give up anything but real butter…especially on toast or biscuits where the high water content in margarine makes the toast soggy. Now my significant other loves Brummel and Brown and will choose that over good butter for anything. I’m not sure whats wrong with him :0)

    • says

      I normally go for the cheap but the canned is my shortcut here, allowing you to have this soup kinda last minute rather than having to plan. It’s one of those “I’m tired but I still want real food so I’ll spend two dollars more” meals. :)

      I’ve had brummel and brown and it is pretty good. I like that Land O Lakes spreadable butter in a tub, too. I don’t usually eat toast because I try to stick to protein in the mornings so when I go for carbs I hit a whole wheat bagel with a hefty smear of cream cheese, yum! Back in my younger days I would have happily lived in buttered toast, with a little jelly from time to time for good measure :)

      Ok now I’m hungry…

      • SweetCarol says

        My husband and I worry about the salt and beans have a lot of salt as does ham. We can buy lower sodium ham at the meat counter and we usually drain the juice from beans. Might just cook beans from scratch. I sure wouldn’t add the extra salt with beans and ham as they would provide a lot of salt. I love soups and particularly bean soups. Thanks for the recipe. I have never used instant potatoes for thickening. Sounds good to me. Sure have trouble with husband’s food though as he is on dialysis and beans and potatoes have too much potassium for him. That is the pitts as he likes beans too. I may try it anyway with lower sodium items like the low sodium broth instead of bouillon. Do you use chicken or beef boullion? I really look for the low sodium broth or no salt added in beans, etc.

  5. TNChristy says

    I just made this and it was delicious. When my husband and I got married, his granny gave the recipe for ham/bean soup that is very similiar to this. However, I loved the flavor of this. But my honey’s granny was a true lady(beautiful inside and out) and I enjoyed every moment I got to spend with her before she passed away. Thanks for bringing me good thoughts tonight!

    • SweetCarol says

      Such sweet thoughts. Was his granny’s recipe thickened with potato? I had tried some shrimp and corn chowder and I thought the broth tasted like it had some potato in it. It was delicious. I wondered how the broth was so good and I think I now know – potato soup and some squares of potato too.

      I wonder if frozen corn is as good as fresh cut right off the cob.

  6. Sheila says

    Instant mashed taters are great for thickening soup, I’ve done it for years with potato soup when I’ve wanted it to be a rib sticker. This recipe sounds great, it’s finally getting chilly in California, and the soup pot is on the stove ready to go!

    On another note, Christy..I love reading your blog, it always makes me smile and lol (a lot) cause I can relate to so many of your family interactions and stories. I’ll be reading, nodding my head, saying things in agreement outloud and hubby looks at me like I’ve fallen out of my chair. Thank you so much!! Pass on a howdy to your Mom and Grammy (glad she found her $2 today)

  7. susie willis says

    i make mine just a bit differnt…i saute onions and diced carrots(instead of celery) and i do use can beans too, but i smash one can with the potato masher, for thickener, and use the other whole….and i freeze ham after i have bake a ham for sunday dinner..just for my bean soup….2cans white great northern beans, two med carrots diced, 1 small onion diced, 2 TBSP marg , to saute this in, 2 1/2 cups water. 1 1/2 cups cubed ham, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper,just remember to mash one can of the beans…and a bay leaf (optional)

  8. Lana says

    Here’s a little secret to shopping at Sam’s Club w/o a membership. They have printable day passes on their website. You do have to pay a percentage upcharge in most stores but it minimal. Those of us who live in SC don’t pay an upcharge because it is against state law. You can use one of those passes every 90 days. Butter is a little cheaper at Sam’s. We have to have butter for most things at our house ’cause we loves it :)

    • Es says

      I went to and did not find a day pass. I did find that u could buy a pass for $15 that would be good for a few weeks but that was offered the first week of October only. This being the 24th.

      • SweetCarol says

        If you have a Costco near you especially one with a gas station, it is worth it to get a membership there. We get the $100 one and we get back enough in rebates for gas, and for whatever else we get which isn’t a great deal, to pay for the membership. Get over $100 back plus a check to be used at Costco for a smaller amount. We have 2 vans to fill up and Costco is usually a few cents less – not always but usually. We use their American Express card and can use other places too. So our rebate will pay for our new year’s membership. I don’t know if that works like that at Sam’s Club or not. But Costco pays for itself at least for us since they have gas there too. There is just my husband and myself so we do check for things we want to check prices and there are some things that we can only get at Costco. Kirkland products are very tasty. I like some of their produce as well and their “homemade” soups are great. They are in the cheese cases. I love the mini cream puffs, especially ones with chocolate on top.

  9. Barbara in Indianapolis says

    Hey Christy, give yourself permission to indulge in BUTTER. I read a few years ago that margarine is just one molecule away from being plastic! Personally, I prefer to live without plastic in my fridge and science is finding that saturated fat is actually healthy for us (as long as it is not overdone). Speaking of Sams Club, their butter is even less than Wal-mart ($2.98/lb). Another little cheat is that when cooking (not baking) with butter, use half butter and half olive oil. Healthy and stretches the butter. :-) Planning on making this soup for the weekend; supposed to be cold and wet. yuck!

    • says

      You’d be amazed at all the things that are just one molecule away from plastic! lol I enjoy butter whenever my budget allows though! :) Cold and wet? Now when you’re making a big pot of soup that almost makes cold and wet appealing!!! Hope you have a great one!

    • SweetCarol says

      How do you deal with green butter when mixing with Avocado? It is probably healthier. Great ideas to mix. I remember that South Beach Diet was more natural things and butter was in though not in large amounts. Margarine was out.

  10. Linda says

    If you don’t have chicken boullion cubes, you can substitute the chicken packs from chicken Ramen Noodle soup, it seems much more flavorful, I use it in my homemade green beans, which are a big hit.

  11. Tricia Protzman says

    I made this soup and the Jordan rolls tonight for supper. I diced up a carrot and added it to the onions and celery. Both were delicious. My husband said he really enjoyed both recipes. I’ve made bean soup before but it has been a while. Will definitely make these recipes again.

  12. says

    Well, have my pot simmering on the stove now. Had a big ham bone with tons of meat left on it from Christmas dinner, so just put it to use today. Can’t wait! My house smells so good! Thanks Christy for inspiring me to find something different to cook for my hubby. I don’t cook everyday, but when I do, your site is the first place I visit! Later gater! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  13. Christina says

    Oh my goodness this soup is so yummy! My husband, who normally doesn’t care for bean soup, ate two big bowls for dinner :-) I had an idea that he would love Christy’s recipe. The soup is so easy to make but it tastes like it was made with scratch made beans and simmered all day. We rounded out the meal with crusty bread for dipping and a simple green salad. This soup is on our list of favorites!

  14. Mary says

    Sitting here reading your post on my phone and came to the part about the saltines and butter. People sitting around me must think I am nuts. Smiling with tears trying not to fall. My great grandpa used to make that all the time for a snack for me, sometimes with still warm hard boiled eggs. He has been gone thirty years and I was just a child but every time I cave in to my craving, it feels like just yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I grew up in a very different place (in a city up north), but your stories stir up so many heartwarming memories for me. Hugs to you.

  15. Mary Ellen says

    Christy – at this moment in time – July 5, 2012 – butter at Sam’s in Huntsville – at least at the location off South Parkway, is $6.99 for 4 pounds, making it $1.75 a pound. Our membership to Sam’s is just $35.00 a year and even though there are just 2 of us, we feel that the membership is the best bargain around. I have friends who say they can’t shop there because the quantities are too large but if it can be frozen, like butter, or is canned, like soup or tomatoes, that is no problem!

    The year your book came out, I bought 15 of them and you signed them all and I have never forgotten how gracious and friendly you were and the wonderful treats you provided for everyone in the long, long line for the book signing. The books were gifts to family and friends and each was accompanied by the ingredients for one of your Christmas gift items. My copy is dog eared from constant use. I have made almost every recipe in it and we have loved them all, without exception.

    You are truly a treasure and we are so proud to say that you are from Huntsville/Madison, Alabama. Thanks for all you do!

    • says

      Oh my goodness, what a deal! thanks so much for letting me know. I really enjoy my Sam’s membership and save a lot of money by going there. They have wonderful fruit and meat, too!
      You are so sweet, it’s good to “hear” your voice again and I hope to see you again soon! Stay tuned because we’re having a Southern plate event in Huntsville at the end of this month and part of all of the proceeds will go to Manna House, too! I’d love to see you there. You are truly a treasure to me!

  16. Cookie says

    Christy, I cannot believe no one mentioned serving their bean soup with corn bread. My family has always served bean and ham hock soup over a chunk of corn bread in the bowl (preferably buttered). A friend from Memphis served the same thing to me on a plate with a side of fried onions and sliced potatoes. Talk about a carb feast!! Well, just a bit of ham hock could be counted as a protein, right? And it all freezes so well! Thanks, Christy. Always a twist on an old favorite.

  17. Helen Luksan says

    This is comfort food that always reminds me of my dad.(Oklahoma) He loved to make a big pot of beans often and with corn bread on the side. I eat mine with a chunk of fresh white onion like he did. Thanks for this recipe Christy. I look forward to making it this week.We have a German deli here in Seattle that smoke their own ham hocks. They have nice big ones and what a treat it will be to make you soup with at least one of them. He not only enjoyed leftover cornbread in buttermilk but also taught me that soda crackers were good broken up into it also.

  18. Sonya says

    How many serviings,want to make for a large group of people.If you have any recipes for a large group ,I would love to have them,enjoy your recipes so much,bought onecookbook for each of my daughter in laws,sister in law,etc

  19. Shelley says

    This recipe was super yummy!

    When I sauted the onion mixture with the butter, I was surprised there was so much butter and left some in the skillet when I put the veggies in the soup. Next time I will use only a half stick of butter. Don’t want to waste the stuff. With only half the butter the recipe was still wonderful.

    Someone from DC said the public can’t eat in the Senate restaurant. Perhaps it is that way now, but my hubby and I ate there some years ago.

    • SweetCarol says

      Jemma, did you read about one woman who mashed one of the cans of beans and used that for thickening. I noted it as I thought that might be a good idea, as well as using some of the potatoes. I may start using the instant potatoes for thickening as I love soup. I want to fix some shrimp and corn chowder. If you have a recipe, let me know. I think I’ll start looking. I don’t cook shrimp very often but it sure doesn’t take long to do. I get some ready to cook. I do not clean them. Dad made me clean some when I was a teenager and I wouldn’t eat shrimp for several years and don’t like it as well as I used to now. However, I did try some clam chowder at one nice place and gave me courage to try shrimp corn chowder at a local place that does seafood. It tasted great and I try to go there most Friday for lunch to get the soup. I think I’d love the ham and bean soup too. My mom made ham and bean and she made a lot of pinto beans. We must have had them once a week and always with white corn bread (I prefer yellow just because it is sweeter and has more color). I like cornbread in a glass of milk too. Mom had hers in buttermilk but I never caught that flavor. But was sure good in milk. Love the chocolate gravy she made, too. I think Christy has that recipe or a close version of it. We never put vanilla in it. We did use butter though.

  20. Cheryl Bone says

    Christy, just picked up some land o lakes coupons at the store for 50cents good into May. You can use 5 at a time at Kroger. They also have their brand of butter on sale until Tuesday for $1.99. I only use butter or Fleischman’s margarine so that is usually what I buy that on sale for at same price… LOL was on sale two weeks ago when I found the coupons so only paid $1.49. Should have told you then but holding onto my coupons because it will probably go on sale around Mothers Day. I think I got this coupon thing down!

  21. Sheryle says

    The Senate Cafe is located in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. I was there on a whirlwind grass roots lobbying trip several years ago. At the time I didn’t know the bean soup was “famous”, but it was really good! I thought it needed a bit more salt and pepper and I missed not having my favorite “sweet cornbread” with it, but it was still good! Yep, I’m a Yankee who also lived for ten years in TN, but I have to have sugar in my cornbread AND salt! If I send you my cornbread recipe, will you try it? It’s good with bean soup, potato soup and all by itself! I would love for you to try it! Meanwhile, I now have the recipe for the Senate Bean Soup! Yeah!

  22. Kim says

    Thank you for this recipe! I love bean soup but never think to put them in the crockpot in the mornings before work. THIS recipe I can do. Btw, this post just cracked me up. I laughed all the way through it. Oh, and margarine at 60 cents a box? That’s great–even the cheapest is $1.00 a box or more around here.

  23. Trice Kastein says

    Christy – My mother made the best navy beans. We never actually called it bean soup, just beans! But we also served it over her wonderful homemade cornbread baked in the that old black cast iron skillet. Yummy – I never bake cornbread in anything else! But, my point that I was trying to get to was that there was always this pretty little blue ceramic cruet with a top that was filled with apple cider vinegar. We would pour a small amount on our bowl of beans just before that first big bite! Oh my goodness it was so good. Today I use an aged balsamic vinegar because I love the taste and sweetness of it. Just a little sharing cause I love your recipes so much! You’re a peach!

  24. Susan N says

    Hey Christy, your tip you gave last week about being able to buy a ham bone from the Honeybaked Ham store, was GREAT. Thanks a bunch. I made the senate bean soup with yankee (northern) beans. The whole hams cost so much now, and we don’t even need that huge amount of ham, so those meaty bones are just right. Thanks!
    I noticed on another post you are shopping Aldi now, and since they have the best price on butter, we can now afford butter. All their dairy is usually half the price of other stores (unless the store is having a super price cut sale).

    If you need a way to use up some boiled eggs, try bean salad by using drained kidney beans (or other kinds, even green peas) and leave out the potatoes and proceed just like you are making a potato salad. Put in lots of crunch celery, some sweet onion for crunch. We dress w/ mayo base but it could be any kind of dressing you like. It was a popular N. Alabama dish from back in the 50s, bet your folks made some beans salad too.
    Funny what we can make into salad, my friends Mama made baloney salad.. Pretty good!
    Happy Spring Christy.

  25. says

    This recipe looks like it would be delicious. I have a suggestion concerning canned beans. For those who have a pressure canner – why not can your own. I buy dried beans (which are probably cheaper than I could plant and harvest them myself) and can them in my pressure canner. They taste better than canned beans in the grocery and don’t have all of those preservatives in them.

    There are recipes online that tell you how much beans, water, and canning salt to put in the jars; and how long to process and at what pressure. I love having jars of beans on my shelf in the basement to use when I need them, and I saved a lot of money. Since dried beans are available year round in the grocery store I can make more when I run out.

    Please note, they do have to be pressure canned since they are a low acid food and need to be processed for a long period of time under pressure in order to kill any organisms that may cause food borne illnesses.

  26. Betty819 says

    I have found Honey Baked Ham Hocks for years now because when I’m serving a lot of family, I spurged for the Hone Baked Ham even thought it’s expensive but worth it! The lines here at the HBH store will be out on the sidewalk and wrapped around the building this weekend today and tomorrow. Try their frozen scallopped potatoes sometime..they are full of potatoes and yummy.. All my family knows when they cook a ham, I want the ham bone to make bean soup with. Sometimes the grocery stores don’t carry ham hocks and that’s when I started buying mine from HBH store. Same way with fat back..if you can find it in your grocery store, it’s so expensive for just a small piece. My sister and I fuss about it all the time when we have to buy some.

    Christy, I love your recipes and love everybody’s memories as well as yours. How do you cook your black eye peas? When I wrote about the fat back, my sister always cooks Black eye peas for us on New Year’s Day but has to have fat back to cook in them. Yummy! I’m getting hungry for some just writing about them. Sister lives 25 miles from me that makes the black eye peas. I’m the only one here in this house that eats them so I don’t cook them.

  27. Robyn says

    I do one that is similar but instead of using the instant potatoes I use the Blue Runner brand beans, they add the thickness. I also add a can of Rotel tomatoes to give it some color and spice. I’ve made this with sausage as well. Always a favorite in our home.

  28. Peggy says

    I have to agree with the other comments on here ~ there is no ‘save’ button and I would really love to save this recipe to my recipe box. If you would add one, it would be great! Thanks. :)

  29. Hogs'n'Quiches says

    This is the funniest post! I about fell out of my chair laughing. LOVE. IT. !!

    I’ve had the real Senate Bean Soup and it was goooood. But to be honest, this is probably just as good if not betta! ;)

    There is a dining room just for the Senator’s, then there are several places for us regular real folk and those are located in the Senate Building.

  30. Shelley says

    I know this recipe posting was several years ago and I read it then, but I just read it again to refresh myself about making the soup since we are about to be iced in. When my kids were little they did a lot of print work in Dallas, especially my son. He modeled clothes and played with toys every week for circulars, magazines and other ads. They also took photos of ‘food’ there for those publications. I thought you were going to say your food stager had great looking but non-edible food, because that is what they had there. They would have meat look like it was cooked on a grill by taking a hair curling iron to it. Some of the shots contained real food, but it had been rendered inedible. Glad yours was real and you got to eat it! I am amazed they could transport it there without damaging it in some way.

  31. Shari says

    I love this recipe!!! I’ve made it before and never commented! Made it tonight with no ham, just because I don’t care if it has that, I added some smoke paprika and to me it gives it a bacon flavor b/c of the ‘smoked’ I guess and it was just fine!! Had to make cornbread too, it was fabulous!! Rainy day in Virginia!! Love your site Christy


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