Senate Bean Soup

Senate Bean Soup

November: U.S. Election Day (Tuesday after the first Monday in November)

We have visited the Capitol during some of our trips to Washington, D.C. With its  iconic rotunda, the building houses our elected officials (representatives and senators). At the congressional cafeteria, Senate Bean Soup is served every day, ironically reminding us of the low-budget stews we ate as children of modest income families. Fortified with navy beans and flavored with smoked ham hocks, the recipe for Senate Bean Soup comprises only a few ingredients but it feeds many people (this is an excellent example of “edible economics”—if only the government can balance the budget better by spending less instead of more)!

Senate Bean Soup

Make a difference with your vote and go out and cast your ballot at your local/state/national polling place. Also make Senate Bean Soup as a way to observe Election Day.


(Adapted from the United States Senate)


  • 2 pounds dried navy beans
  • 4 quarts hot water
  • 1 ½ pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


Wash the navy beans in hot water (cold water will crack them) until slightly white. Place them in a large pot and cover with 4 quarts hot water. Put the ham hocks on top of the beans. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for at least three hours or until the ham hocks are tender. Stir occasionally.

Senate Bean Soup

Remove the ham hocks from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. Dice the meat and return to the pot. Mix well with the cooked beans. In a small pan, saute the onions in butter until lightly browned. Add to the pot. Stir in the salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Senate Bean Soup


  • It is a privilege as well as a right to vote! Do your American duty and vote while we have the freedom in our country to do so.
  • Search our blog for other patriotic posts and recipes suitable for celebrating American holidays and events, such as Election Day.