Senate Bean Soup
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.
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.
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.