Chuck Wagon Bean Soup

8 cups water
1 lb. dry pinto beans, 2 1/2 cups
1 1/2 lbs. smoked pork hocks
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubes, 2 cups
2 medium carrots, chopped, 1 cup
2 stalks celery, sliced, 1 cup
1 medium onion, chopped, 1/2 cup
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce

Rinse beans. In large kettle, mix water and beans and bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Or soak beans overnight in water to cover. Don’t drain.

Bring beans and liquid to boiling. Add pork hocks. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are nearly tender.

Remove hocks. Cool slightly. Cut off meat and coarsely chop. Discard bones. Return meat to pan. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In this recipe, if you soak the beans overnight, be sure to soak them in the 8 cups water called for in the recipe.

Serves 8 to 10

T-fal Specialty Nonstick Stockpot Stock Pot, 12-Quart, Black

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