I am the Soup Bean Queen!
On a gloomy day like today, when the sky is neither raining nor snowing but slushing, nothing will pick up your spirits like a good bowl of southern soup beans. So here it is, the best thing that ever came out of my elementary school cafeteria, improved upon by the random ingredients in my pantry.
Southern Soup Beans
1 1/2 lb beans of choice (I used 1 lb navy beans and 1/2 lb lentils)
Leftover Ham bone, ham scrabs, pork fat, or whatever salty pork bits you have around
1 tbsp veggie oil/butter/whatever
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
sprinkling of salt and pepper
Soak your beans overnight!
The next day, in the afternoon, use your veggie oil to cook the onion and garlic in the bottom of your pot until the onion is translucent. Drain off the excess water from the beans and plunk them in the pot. Also toss in the pork bits and seasonings minus the salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. Taste the broth after a while and add salt to taste. (You never know how much salt from your pork/ham will end up in the broth so it's better to be safe.)
After about 4 hours, use a slotted spoon to fish out the ham, cut off the bits that you would actually want to eat, put them back in the soup and discard the fat/bone/whatever, as well as the bay leaves. Don't eat those. Icky.