Real Senate Bean Soup from Capitol Hill
1 pound Dried Navy Beans, picked over
1 pound Ham, (preferably with bone in and no nitrates)
1 large Russet Potato, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup Milk
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
10 cups Chicken Broth or Water,
(I prefer Chicken Broth)
1 large Sweet Onion, chopped
1 stalk Celery, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste
Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with about 3 times their volume of cold water. Soak overnight, in a cool place.
Drain the beans and transfer to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 10 cups of chicken broth or water, ham and potatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and then reduce the heat to low and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the ham to a plate to cool slightly, then remove the bone, if used, and dice the meat. Return the meat to the pot.
Combine the cooked potatoes, which will probably fall apart, and mix into the soup. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and sauté the veggies then add the veggie mixture to the soup and cook on low for 1 more hour. Add milk and stir. If the soup is too thick, add water or chicken broth. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.