Smoky Red Bean Soup



  1. Put the beans and 8 cups water in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ham, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, and thyme.
  3. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down so the mixture bubbles but steadily.
  4. Cook, stirring once in a while, 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. Add more water as needed, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, stir, and turn off the heat.
  7. Remove the hocks from the pot.
  8. Pull the meat from the bone, chop it, and return it to the soup.
  9. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring frequently and adding more water if necessary.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.