Bean Soup in the Senate

Updated July 24, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

Is it true that the Senate restaurants all serve bean soup everyday?

The Answer:

Believe it or not, yes. According to the Senate web site, the tradition started at the beginning of the 20th century at the request of either Senator Fred Thomas Dubois of Idaho or Knute Nelson of Minnesota. The House tradition started in 1904 when Speaker of the House Joe Cannon barked out direct orders to the cooking staff that it always be on the menu. This happened after he showed up in the mood for bean soup but couldn't find it on the menu. It's been on it every day since.

Here is a look at the recipe for the Senate's bean soup

  • 2 pounds dried navy pea beans

  • four quarts hot water

  • 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Take two pounds of small navy beans, wash and run hot water through until slightly whitened. Place beans in pot with four quarts of hot water. Add ham hocks and set aside to cool. Dice meat and return to soup. Lightly brown the chopped onion in butter and add to soup. Before serving, bring to boil then season with salt and pepper. Serves 8 people.

-The Editors

Sources +
See also: