Above are the beans I just put in the bowl to soak this morning and into the afternoon. These are beans from Bob's Red Mill. I am a huge fan of their products. There are mung beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, cranberry beans, and lots more.
This is a smoked ham hock that I get from my farmer. This is no ordinary soup bone! No! It is covered with lots of meat that will go into the soup. I usually get about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of chopped meat to put back into the soup.
I begin by making the stock. This includes a LOT of water (probably 3 or 4 quarts), chunks of onion, celery, and carrots, along with the ham hock. Let this simmer for 2 or 3 hours. Remove the ham hock and vegetables. Discard the vegetables, but let the ham hock cool enough to touch. Cut off the meat.
Place the soaked beans, the chopped meat, and whatever spices you choose (cloves, ginger, and of course salt!) into the stock pot. Add a can of chopped tomatoes with the juice.
Simmer another couple of hours. Enjoy the divine aroma coming from your kitchen!
I have to admit, the only thing I dislike about making this is packaging it into serving sizes for freezing. That's a pain and the pot seems to have a never ending bottom. But taking it out of the freezer to eat makes up for that.