Bean Soup is served in all eleven dining rooms of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. every day.
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.
In a black cast iron pot, heat butter over medium-high heat.
Add the onion to the pot; stir to evenly coat with butter.
Reduce the heat to over medium-low heat.
Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and translucent.
Wash the Navy beans by covering with cold water and remove any that float.
Put the washed beans and ham hock in the black cast iron pot and add enough water to make 6 cups.
Add spices and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the Navy beans are soft, about one hour.
Remove the bay leaf and the ham bone/hock.
When the ham hock is cool enough to handle, dice the ham and return it to the soup.
Add the celery, carrots and ham steak cubes to the pot.
Stir and bring to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.