Did you know this fun fact about the United States Senate? Senate Bean Soup is on the menu in the Senate’s restaurant each and every day. Now that’s what I call a real soup of the day, everyday! Try my meatless, vegan version of this famous recipe and learn the history of the tradition. I adore this cozy, nutritious soup. The smoky, creamy broth and white navy bean, potato accents — and a hint of spice will have you craving more. And feeling quite patriotic. Plus, I made this start to finish in under fifteen minutes..
The tradition dates back to the early 20th century. There are two stories about the origins of the daily bean soup request. The tradition is thanks to either Senator Fred Dubois of Idaho who is famous for his “mashed potato” bean soup version — or another story according to the US Senate website “attributes the request to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota, who expressed his fondness for the soup in 1903.”
Whatever the origins, the first time I tasted a vegan version of this soup at Whole Foods I was hooked! And had to craft my own recipe to make everyday. Well, not every day
The original recipe calls for “ham hock” and “butter” but I can easily make this soup a bit healthier by using vegan buttery spread, soy cream or milk and vegan liquid smoke which successfully imitates a smoky flavor — without adding meat! And the main focus of the flavor is on those creamy navy beans and mashed potatoes! Dive in and eat like a Senator!
Vegan Senate Bean Soup for Two
vegan, serves two
1 2/3 cups drained Navy Beans (canned or dried and soaked overnight)
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup celery, chopped
2 tsp vegan liquid smoke
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper hot sauce
4 garlic cloves or 1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 large bay leaf
1 medium white potato, baked (skin on)
as needed to thin soup: 1/3-1/2 cup soy creamer (or soy milk, or more water) — plain flavor
My upgrade: I made an upgrade when I re-heated this soup for lunch. I added nutritional yeast and a can of lentils. Topped hot soup with chilled sauerkraut and a few oyster crackers. Not traditional, but fabulous too!
1. In a soup pot, add the drained beans, water, bay leaf, salt, parsley, onion, celery, liquid smoke, hot sauce, pepper, garlic and vegan butter. Bring to a boil and simmer while potato bakes (step 2).
2. Bake a skin-on potato for about 5-7 minutes in microwave (until tender). You can also bake in oven if time.
3. Rough chop your potato and add to a high speed blender. Remove bay leaf from broth pot soup. Add in about 1-2 cups of the soup (mostly broth). Blend on low -> medium until potato is pureed. Your soup will be thick at this point. Add in as much soy creamer or soy milk (or water) as you’d like to thin out the potato portion of the soup. Remember, you still have your other bean/broth mixture to add so keep that in mind. I added about 1/3 cup soy creamer and another 1/2 cup water.
4. Lastly, you want to blend the thick potato mixture with your whole bean broth mixture. If you want totally creamy soup, simply blend the entire portion in the blender with the potato. If you like some whole beans, simply fold the potato mixture in with the whole beans.
5. Simmer on stove until ready to serve.
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