U.S. Senate Navy Bean Soup
1 pound Navy Beans (termed small white beans in California)
1 ham hocks weighing 2 pounds or a leftover ham bone with meat, weighing 2 pounds
2 pounds onions
8 ounces ham
8 fl. cups of water
4 ozs. butter
1 fl. ounce liquid smoke
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Clean the beans. Soak in water covered by 1 inch overnight.
Put the hock or leg bone in a stock pot with the 8 fl. cups of water. Bring to a boil and immediately lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer the hock or legbone for 3 to 4 hours. Skim the scum if the meat throws any. Remove from the heat and cool in the liquid. When cool enough to touch, pull the meat off the leg or hock. Reserve, refrigerated if not using this immediately. You can keep the fat to make lard. It freezes.
In a large stockpot, over low heat, melt the butter, meanwhile slice the onions. Add the onions to the pot, raise the heat and stir to mix the butter into the onions. Saute the onions for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil, whence, lower to a simmer. Cover. Simmer 60 minutes.
Serve with a slice of bread and butter.