This is an old recipe given to me by my mother. I have tasted different versions but this one is my family's favorite.
- Wash and sort beans; in large kettle, cover beans with 6-8 c hot water.
- Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
- Add another 2 quarts of cold water and ham bone.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
- Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer 20-30 minutes until beans are tender.
- Remove ham bone, trim off meat and return meat to soup; remove bay leaf.
- Serve hot; freezes well.