Friday, February 24, 2006

And as the sun fades slowly in the west . .

In the spirit of my new book, I offer a recipe.

From the official United States Senate website, here is the recipe for Senate Bean Soup, served in the Senate cafeteria every day since 1903:

The Famous Senate Restaurant Bean Soup Recipe

2 pounds dried navy beans
four quarts hot water
1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the navy beans and run hot water through them until they are slightly whitened. Place beans into pot with hot water. Add ham hocks and simmer approximately three hours in a covered pot, stirring occasionally. Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. Dice meat and return to soup. Lightly brown the onion in butter. Add to soup. Before serving, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

Now, for those of you who don’t have three hours to stand over a covered pot, I adapted it for my crockpot. Takes a little more time up front, but you could do the prep work anytime.

Crockpot Senate Bean Soup

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

Rinse the navy beans and put them in a large pot. Cover deep with water and bring to a boil. Turn back the heat and simmer for half an hour. Drain and put in 6 quart crock pot. Add water and ham, set on high for approximately six hours. During the last hour, remove ham hocks and cool. Dice meat and return to soup. Lightly brown onion in butter. Add to soup. Salt and pepper to taste.

I wasn’t sure this recipe was going to work. When I went to work after two hours, it was still just water and beans. But when I got home, it looked like soup and smelled wonderful. Even my eleven year old, who is not a soup eater, gave this thirteen thumbs up!

So, that’s it for my blog day. Stick around tomorrow, when your host will be the charming Sherrill Quinn, and then come back on March 7th when I’ll get to talk in more details about The Halls of Power, share excerpts, and give you a chance to win a very Washingtonian goodie!


Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Glad you could post today!

11:58 PM  
Blogger Philippa Grey-Gerou said...

Thanks, Jennifer. It was fun!

12:14 AM  
Blogger Robin49 said...

I love bean soup and love the Crockpot version!

5:58 AM  
Blogger Sherrill Quinn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Sherrill Quinn said...

I'm charming? I'm charming! Thanks, Grey! :)

Your bean soup recipe brings back memories--my mom makes the best "soup beans", served with fried potatoes and cornbread. Yum. Might just have to go make me some...

9:39 AM  

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