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Senator Knute Nelson’s Favorite Bean Soup – 2016 Update

The Douglas County Historical Society in Alexandria, Minnesota, has a long-standing annual tradition of serving Sen. Knute Nelson‘s favorite bean soup.

Feb. 16, 2016, 11:30 to 1:30

Nelson Gables, Governor’s Room, 1220 Nokomis Street, Alexandria, MN 56308

Come and enjoy this delicious soup plus a sandwich and dessert, for only $9 in advance, or $10 at the door.  Frozen portions of soup will also be available for purchase to bring home.

This annual Alexandria event comes at just the right time!  Get out of the house, come have a delicious bowl of Knute Nelson’s bean soup, and laugh at winter!

v_minnie_beansoupMinnie Osterholt (1912-2007), simmering a batch of Knute Nelson’s favorite bean soup on the old wood stove at DCHS.  This posed photo is such a sweet reminder of this long standing tradition.  

The Senate Bean Soup, served daily in Washington D.C. since 1903 at the U.S. Senate Dining Room, has it origins with our own Senator Knute Nelson.  (We are ignoring the Idaho Senator who preferred it with potatoes in the recipe.  He was obviously trying to curry favor with the potato lobbyists.)

The Famous Senate Restaurant Bean Soup Recipe
2 pounds dried navy beans
four quarts hot water
1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the navy beans and run hot water through them until they are slightly whitened. Place beans into pot with hot water. Add ham hocks and simmer approximately three hours in a covered pot, stirring occasionally. Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. Dice meat and return to soup. Lightly brown the onion in butter. Add to soup. Before serving, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.