Capitol Bean Soup
  • Servings: 6
  • 2 lb. white beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight. Drain and recover with water. Add the ham hock and simmer slowly for about 4 hours until the beans are cooked tender. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Just before serving, "bruise" beans with a large spoon or ladle to cloud the soup.
  2. Makes 6 portions.
  3. That is the way they make it there. Me, I just put it all in a crock pot for 8 hour on low.
Bean soup has established itself on the menu of every cafeteria carry-out, and dining room of the Congress, and it is served every working day without fail. The reason for this staid menu item, as the story goes,is because, one hot and humid day in 1904, when Joseph G.Cannon of Illinois was Speaker of the House, the item was not available for lunch, and Speaker Cannon went into an uproar. "Thuderation!" roared the Speaker. "I had my mouth set for bean soup. From now on, hot or cold, rain, snow or shine,I want it on the menu every day!" From that time on, Bean Soup has lived happily ever after on Capitol menus and has provided food for thought for Congressman, staffs and tourists alike. Because it is such a significant institution on Capitol Hill, I thought you might like to see what it's all about.