Senate Bean Soup Recipe

In honor of the election tomorrow, I present to you the U.S. Senate’s recipe for their Bean Soup.

Senate Bean Soup

1 pound white Navy Beans
1 Cup chopped Onions
2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
2 Celery stalks, chopped
2/3 cup instant mashed potatoes
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash (or other similar)
1 Teaspoon Oregano, dried
1 Teaspoon basil, dried
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
2 Bay leaves
1 quart water
1 quart beef stock
1 pound either Italian sausage, browned or minced Ham, your choice.

In a large stock pot bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil, add beans and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for at least 1 hour. Drain. Add the water and the beef stock. Add the meat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 hours until beans soften. You can add the vegetables at any time depending on how soft you want them to cook. Hold back the herbs and spices until 20 mintues prior to serving time to maintain best flavor. Add cilantro at the very end as it has a delicate flavor. Makes about 3 quarts.

For 12 bowls, it contains 234 calories per bowl and has 866 mg of sodium. If you are sensitive to sodium, skip the added salt.

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Hops Harvest

I have now completed the harvest of my fresh hops. I always have a question in my mind as to when they are ready. After Labor Day, they seem very numerous and ready to go. I have held off to the last minute when some of the varieties turn a little bit golden. I read that if they get very dry and golden, the flavor molecules start to fall apart and the flavor will be less. I have not had that problem yet, they are very sticky on the fingers and full of aroma.

In search of the perfect IPA beer, I have used a LOT of hops in my brews. So far the only thing I have not tried is dry hopping after the fermentation. This last batch I just tried doing that so we will have to wait and see if it is any better. Dry hopping is the procedure of throwing hops in after the fermentation has slowed down and letting them soak in there for a week or two. I never did this because it seemed like it would contaminate the beer, but I just tried it and nothing seems bad in there yet.

Fresh Hops Cones

Fresh Cones

Ready to pick now.