Recipe: U.S. Senate Bean With Smoked Ham Soup

While the origin of this soup is heavily debated, it was served seasonally at Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation.

The following is an official Souplantation-provided recipe originally printed by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2009.

Makes approximately 1 gallon.


  • 1 1/4 pounds dry small white beans
  • 4 tablespoons ham base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch diced russet potato
  • 2 cups 1/4-inch diced smoked ham
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/4-inch sliced celery
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch diced carrot
  • 4 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


  • Place the dry beans in a container with 6 cups water. Cover, refrigerate, and allow to soak for 8 hours. After 8 hours, drain the water and begin to make soup.
  • Add 13 cups water, drained beans, ham base, chicken base and pepper to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the beans are soft. Blend with a hand-held blender for a few seconds. The broth should be chunky, not smooth.
  • Add the russet potatoes, smoked ham, celery, onion, carrot and garlic to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the parsley to the pot and serve. Season to taste with salt and pepper as desired.

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2 Responses

  1. nick says:

    Please upload all the official recipes from their blog
    Can still be accessed from here

    I miss sweet tomatoes!

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