Senate Bean Soup

“So many times I go looking for recipes because I’ve tasted something at a friend’s place or at a restaurant that I want to recreate at home. In this case, I had my first taste of Senate Bean Soup at the Tercero Dining Commons at UC Davis while a freshman living in the Tercero G building. The Tercero DC had the best food on campus. The wok bar was a favorite, as was the Plum Glazed Duck (which took me awhile to find a comparable recipe), and this soup.” – April Ferre

Senate Bean Soup

Course: Soup


  • 1/2 Pound Navy Beans
  • 1 1/2 Quarts Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Large Onions Diced
  • 4 Stalks Celery Sliced
  • 2 Quarts Beef Stock
  • 1/2 Pound Ham Chopped
  • 1/2 Pound Potatoes Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots Diced, Optional
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper Or To Taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Thyme Or To Taste


  • Soak navy beans overnight or several days in 1 1/2 quarts water, changing water as necessary.
  • Melt butter in a stockpot; sauté onions and celery until slightly tender.
  • Add beans and beef stock; simmer partially covered, for about 1 hour or until beans are just tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add ham, potatoes and carrots. Return to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost tender.
  • Season with pepper and thyme; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Add water as necessary during cooking.
  • Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

2001 Recipe – April Ferre – From Soups and Stews by Barbara Grunes, 1985