U.S. Senate Navy Bean Soup
This classic homegrown bean soup has supposedly been on the menu in the Senate restaurant since 1901. Could we bring this old standby into the 21st century?
Why This Recipe Works
We found that presoaking the beans for our U.S. Senate navy bean soup recipe produced split or exploded beans. Instead, slowly simmering the beans for about two hours yielded soft, barely resilient beans. We also did away with another long-held rule that warns against salting beans during cooking. We found that salted beans were not any less cooked on the inside than unsalted ones and, as a bonus, had developed a small amount of resistance on the outside that kept them from bursting. We found that cooking one smoked ham hock with the beans in our U.S. Senate navy bean soup recipe imparted a deep meatiness without overpowering the bean flavor.