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Senate Bean Soup
From Betty Crocker's New Cookbook

This hearty soup, served every day in the cafeteria of the U.S. Senate, goes very nicely with hunks of full-flavored breads such as multi-grain, sourdough or focaccia.

Ingredients:

2 cups dried navy beans (1 pound)
12 cups water
1 ham bone, 2 pounds ham shanks or 2 pounds smoked pork hocks
2 1/2 cups mashed cooked potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Instructions:

1. Heat beans and water to boiling in Dutch oven. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

2. Add ham bone. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 1 hour.

4. Remove ham bone; remove ham from bone. Trim excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir ham into soup.

Yield: Makes 12 servings, about 1 cup each

Variation:

Southwestern Bean Soup: Add 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin in step 3. Top with salsa if desired.

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