Its that chilly time of year when a hot bowl of hearty soup is most appreciated. Here is a favorite soup recipe.
1 lb great northern, white, or navy beans
smoked ham hock or neck bones
1/2 of a large onion – chopped
a stalk or two of celery (including the leafy part)
bacon fat – a spoonful
beef stock or beef bouillon
2 bay leaves
1 T basil
quick dash of cloves
salt & pepper to taste
Soak your beans using your preferred method. I use the 2 minute boil and soak method.
Begin cooking the beans covering with an inch of your beef broth or water. I just use water but beef broth would make an even heartier, richer tasting soup.
Add the celery and onions to the pot.
Add bay leaves, basil, and cloves. Be sure not to use too much clove, just a small dash.
Cook until done; adding more liquid, tasting and adjusting your spices as needed. Remove the bay leaves and the hock or neck bones. Pick some of the meat off the bones and add it back into the pot.
Serve hot with bread or cornbread. Chow-chow or other pickled veggie is great with these beans!