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Senate Soup


Happy Hump Day, Soupers! When looking for a new navy bean soup recipe, I stumbled upon this one and it’s a star: Senate Bean Soup with navy beans, onions and hamhocks, celery, and mashed potato and it’s souper easy.

It’s perfect on a cold day like this one! Now, I know I said we’d eat more vegetarian/ vegan soups — and we are, but we never said every day. 😛 So here’s story behind this very modest soup — it’s been prepared daily in the US Senate mess hall since the early 20th century. Eat up and enjoy!




5 small potatoes peeled, cubed, boiled and mashed
2 smoked ham hocks or 5 slices of bacon raw and chopped
1 pound of great northern beans or cannellini beans soaked overnight
1 yellow onion
1 stalk celery chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
5 cup(s) chicken stock
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 cup, 2 % milk (soy, almond, rice or skim as alternatives work fine)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon, crème fraîche or fresh cream
1/8 cup parsley

Author picture
Carolyn Moncel

Carolyn Davenport-Moncel is a digital media and communication consultant, author, mother, contrarian, book, music and reformed veggie lover and Founder and Souper-in-Chief at Simply Souperlicious, a platform devoted to helping fans "fall back in love with veggies" -- one local, seasonal, soup recipe at a time. Follow her veggie and soup journey on social media @simplysouperlicious.

by Carolyn Moncel
  • Prep 30min
  • Cook30min
  • Meal Time Dinner
  • Serves 4


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add bacon or ham hocks, beans, balsamic vinegar, paprika, and bay leaves to the stock. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. Finely chop onion, garlic, and celery and lightly sauté in olive oil until tender.
  3. Add vegetable mixture from the pan to the boiling chicken stock and continue cooking on low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Near the end of cook time (ten minutes), remove the bay leaves and add parsley soup.
  5. Add in mashed potatoes to the broth.
  6. Remove the soup mixture from heat and cool for roughly 5 minutes before transferring to a blender.
  7. Add milk, butter and cream to the mixture in the blender. Blend to desired consistency.
  8. Re-add the soup to the kettle. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Finish off with a final pinch of parsley and serve in a bowl.

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