Senate Bean Soup

Don’t let this pork and bean soup recipe from Betty Crocker (original here) trick you. This isn’t pork and beans. This is the real thing—a warm soup made with great Northern beans and ham, thickened with mashed potatoes.


  • 2 cups dried navy beans or Great Northern beans (1 lb), sorted and rinsed
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 ham bone, 2 lb ham shanks or 2 lb smoked pork hocks
  • 2½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped


  1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat beans and water to boiling.
  2. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  3. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  4. Add ham bone.
  5. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
  6. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  7. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  8. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  9. Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle.
  10. Remove ham from bone. Remove excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.
  11. Stir ham into soup.


  • Add 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin with remaining ingredients in step 7. Top soup with salsa if desired.

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