~ Bean Soup ~

1 pk. smoked pork hocks or the bone of a ham with some meat left of the bone. About 1 1/2 lbs. of meat give or take a little.
1 sm. onion chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 or 3 stalks celery cubed(optional)
2 or 3 carrots (I like to grate them into the soup they add color along with flavor
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup dryed beans (you can use almost any kind of dryed beans or a combination of different beans)
when you use a dryed bean you need to pour them out on a flat surface and kind of pick your way through them as sometimes they have stems or little stones in them.

After sorting them rinse them off using a strainer. Then you may either pre-cook them for awhile by bringing them to slow boil for several minutes then turning off burner and covering them and letting stand for about 1 hour or just let them stand in water over night without cooking.

Once you have cooked or soaked your beans drain off the water and then add your ingredients along with 1 1/2 to 2 qt. water.

Boil for about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft.

If there is any rind on your meat you will want to remove it and the bones before serving the soup. I use a fork to break up the meat a little before returning it to the broth.

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