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United States Senator, West Virginia
The Famous Senate Restaurant Bean Soup
Whatever uncertainties may exist in the Senate of the United States, one thing is sure: Bean Soup is on the menu of the Senate Restaurant every day. The origins of this culinary decree has been lost in antiquity, but there are several oft-repeated legends.
One story has it that Senator Fred Thomas Dubois of Idaho, who served in the Senate from 1901 to 1907 and sat as chairman of the committee that supervised the Senate Restaurant, gaveled through a resolution requiring that the bean soup be on the menu every day.
Another account attributes the bean soup mandate to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota, who expressed his fondness for it in 1903. In any case, Senators, and their guests are always assured of this hearty, nourishing dish. They know they can rely upon its delightful flavor and epicurean qualities.
Take two pounds of small Michigan navy beans, wash and run through hot water until beans are white again. Put on the fire with four quarts of hot water. Then add smoked ham hocks, boil slowly approximately 3 hours in covered pot. Braise one chopped onion in a little butter, and when light brown put in bean soup. Season with salt and pepper than serve. Do not add salt until ready to serve.
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