( such as Hurst's s or just add odds and ends that you have)
smoked pork hock
crushed red pepper flakes
garlic cloves, minced
fresh ground black pepper
white wine vinegar
- Place bean mixture into a large bowl and cover with water by a couple of inches. Soak 8 hours or overnight. Alternately, put them in a pot and cover with water by a couple of inches. Bring to a rapid boil for 3 minutes. Cover, turn off heat and let sit for one hour. Drain water and rinse.
- Place soaked bean mixture in a large pot or Dutch oven with 1 quart of the water, the pork hocks, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, cover partially. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until beans are just tender, 1-1½ hours. If using lentils, they will mostly disintegrate and thicken into the liquid. If soup seems too thick, add some more of the water.
- Add onion, celery, garlic, and paprika to the pot. Stir in, then continue to simmer very gently for another 15 minutes. Stir in greens and continue cooking another 5-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Fish out the hocks with a long pair of tongs or a skimmer. Go ahead and remove the thyme stalks and bay leaves while you’re at it and discard them. Set aside the hocks for a few minutes, until cool enough to handle. Pick the meat from the bones and add the meat back to the pot.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the vinegar. Serve!