Senate Navy Bean Soup
Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America's Book of Soups, Lebhar-Friedman Books, ©2001
- Servings: 6 to 8.
This recipe is adapted from The Culinary Institute of America's Book of Soups, which, in turn, credits it to the kitchens of the U.S. Senate dining room.
This soup is hearty and savory, made with small, white navy beans, chopped aromatic vegetables, and the salty complexity of smoked ham hocks. It's perfect for lunch or a light supper on a cold winter's night.
- 1 1/4 cups dry navy beans
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 carrots, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock plus 1 to 3 water
- 2 smoked ham hocks
- 1 large or 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 heaping cup)
- Spice sachet with 6 whole black peppercorns and 1 whole clove wrapped in a small square of cheesecloth
- 8 grinds freshly ground black pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 4 shots Tabasco
- Note: because the ham hocks can be salty, there may be no need to add any salt to this soup.
- Pick through the beans for any stones or debris and place them in a large pot. Cover with water, adding enough to have at least 3 inches of water above the beans.
- Place over a medium high heat, bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat. Cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain, rinse with cool water, and hold aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup or stockpot over moderate heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook over medium-low heat until the celery and onions soften and begin to take on a golden color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant and begins to soften.
- Add the beans, stock, ham hocks and enough water so that the liquid covers all the ingredients by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 1 hour, adjusting the heat so that it only simmers and not boils.
- Remove the cover, add the potatoes and spice sachet and continue to simmer over low heat until the beans and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
- Remove the ham hocks from the soup and when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the rest of the hocks. Cut the ham meat into a small dice and hold aside.
- Using an immersion blender or by transferring a few ladles of soup to a blender or food processor, purée about half of the soup, leaving some of the beans and potato pieces whole. Return the pieces of ham to the soup and season with black pepper and Tabasco. Taste and adjust for additional pepper and if salt is also needed.
This soup can be served immediately, refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 4 months.