I doubled this as I had a HUGE ham bone left over from Christmas dinner, and I left out the potatoes since I used them all for the big meal. :) Doubt I would need them as a thickener as the beans cooked up so smooth and so creamy that each mouthful is just dreamily delicious. The only things I added was bay leaves and a bundle of fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, all of which I removed at the end of cooking. No chicken broth as I thought the taste would be unnoticeable and, therefore, a waste of money. Tomatoes might have been good a good addition and were included in other similar recipes on this site, but I didn't have any on hand and I think they would have made for a very different soup. I used lots of fresh cracked pepper, but no salt as the ham contributed its share. I soaked the beans over night and then cooked on the stove top at a very low flame for about 6 hours - stirring every half hour or so. I could have used a slow cooker, but it had just gone back into the appliance closet after its duty keeping the mashed potatoes warm on Christmas day, and I was feeling a bit lazy. OK, I saved a 10 foot walk, but I but I really hate washing pots and pans by hand. So I just cooked the beans in the same pot in which they soaked. But when all is said and done, this was the best bean soup I have ever eaten much less made myself. Since it made such a lot, I froze a significant portion and will report back on how it freezes and reheats.
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I doubled this as I had a HUGE ham bone left over from Christmas dinner, and I left out the...