senate navy bean soup

a small black cauldron bowl full of navy bean soup

This is my mom’s riff on the famous navy bean soup served in the cafeteria of the U.S. Senate. While mom used ham in hers, I’ve replaced it with a ham hock with smashing success. You do you.

6 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed and sorted
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup ham (leftover spiral, not country), diced (note: I replaced with one good sized ham hock)
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 poultry seasoning
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Cover beans with water, bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat. In a separate pan, saute onion, ham, garlic, and celery in butter. Combine and cook until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
Add evaporated milk and heat through.

baked potato soup

photo of a bowl of baked potato soup with scallions, cheese, bacon, and sour cream on top

There’s nothing fancy about this soup, and that’s part of why I love it. It’s great for cold nights when I don’t feel like doing a lot for dinner. I think that’s why my mom always made it for us too, to be honest.

6 medium potatoes (about 3 lbs russets/bakers), washed and diced with skin on
1/2 cup of butter, cut into cubes
8 oz container of sour cream (plus extra for garnish if you wish)
2 cups milk (whole preferred, 2% okay – not skim)
3 strips bacon, fried and chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
Water (to fill a pot large enough to hold the potatoes)
Instant potato flakes (for thickening, as needed)
Grated cheddar cheese (as garnish)

Cover potatoes with water in large pot and bring to boil. Cook until tender. Drain off almost all water. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to melt butter. Add milk. Bring to just under a boil and heat the mixture through. If too thin, add small amount of potato flakes to thicken.

Stir in sour cream, bacon (and drippings) and chives. Garnish with cheddar cheese, and extra sour cream and chives, if desired.