September 1, 2011

Senatorial Bean Soup

This is a simple and delicious soup-it's been served in the cafeteria of our nation's capitol for decades!

1 cup dried navy beans
2 tablespoons butter
2-1/2 cups chopped leek
2 cups sliced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup diced cooked ham, maple tastes great
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 bay leaves

Sort and wash beans and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let beans stand 1 hour. Drain beans. Melt butter in a saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add leek and next 4 ingredients (leek through garlic); saute 10 minutes. Add beans, 8 cups water, bouillon, sage and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer mixture 1-1/2 hours or until beans are very tender. Discard bay leaves. Place half of soup in blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into remaining soup in pan, and cook over medium-low heat 30 minutes. For a creamier texture, you can puree all of the soup.

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