So apparently there is this soup served at the Senate that is very popular. I don't know, I've never been there but this is a good soup. And CHEAP! It cost about $5 for me to make the whole pot and it was a BIG pot! The only struggle I have with soups like this one is getting the saltiness just right when using ham to season the soup. I'm not sure if there is a trick to it or just luck. Well mine turned out OK but I wouldn't have wanted it any saltier. We'll make this again this winter for sure.
Senate Bean Soup
1 bag dried Great Northern Beans
2 ham hocks (or leftover ham but you'll need some ham base too)
12 c water divided
1/2 c diced onion
1/2 c diced carrots
1t garlic powder
Soak beans overnight according to package directions. Next day saute onions and carrots in oil. Simmer ham hocks in 4 c water for 45 min. If you are using leftover ham skip this step and use the ham base to make 4 c ham stock. Pull meat off of bones and add back to pot with onions, carrots, drained beans, garlic powder, and 8 c of water. Bring soup to a boil and then simmer on low for 1 1/2 hrs. About halfway through cooking taste for salt and pepper.