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Article: Senate Bean Soup

Senate Bean Soup

Servings: 4

Author: Revisions by: Chef James R. Kirkley, IV

This simple soup has been served to legislators at the U.S. Senate Restaurant in Washington, D.C., since the early 1900s. The authentic version uses navy beans, but an heirloom Yellow Eye bean just makes it better.


  • 4 tablespoons, il Fustino EVOO
  • 1/2 pound, Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans – soaked and drained
  • 1 pound, Bell Campo sausage – cut 1/2′′ thick
  • 3 cups, chicken broth
  • 3 cups, water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium, yellow onion – chopped
  • 2 stalks, celery – chopped
  • 6 cloves, garlic – minced
  • 1/4 cup, flat leaf parsley – chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


In a soup pot over medium heat add olive oil and heat until it shimmers.

Add onions and celery and saute until onion is translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute for 30 seconds.

Add sausage, beans, chicken broth, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently until the beans are beginning to soften, about 1 hour.

Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer until the beans are soft and beginning to break down about 1 more hour.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with additional parsley.