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Senate Bean Soup

1 lb dried white beans (Great Northern or navy)
1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
3 qts. water, to cook
3 medium onions, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
1/4 c. parsley, chopped fine
1 c. cooked mashed potatoes or 1/3 c. instant potato flakes
salt to taste
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
snippets of parsley or chives to garnish (optional)

Rinse and sort beans, and soak overnight in water to cover. Drain
beans and place in 5qt. soup kettle with the ham bones. Add 3qts.
cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat
for 2 hours. Skim if necessary. In the meantime, chop onions,
garlic, celery and parsley. When beans and meat have cooked 2
hours, add chopped vegetables and potato to the pot.

Simmer 1 hour longer, or until beans are tender. Season with salt
and pepper. Remove bones and meat from soup. Die meat into 1/2-inch
pieces and return to pot. Discard bones. Reheat soup to serve.
Garnish with parsley or chives.

ALTERNATIVE: The House Version: Only beans, ham hock and seasoning.
Bruise beans with a spoon or ladle to barely cloud the soup before


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