This soup turned out to be everything I hoped it would! Just had a bowl for lunch with some homemade bread and it was delicious. I made a few small changes: First, I soaked the beans overnight, then rinsed them. I had about 5 cups of homemade chicken stock on hand which I brought up to 8 cups by adding fresh water. Instead of a ham hock, I had two large ham bones I'd frozen after a couple of nice holiday dinners. I cooked the soup as directed in the recipe, just adding a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper. After an hour of simmering, I removed the ham bones and cut off any meat that hadn't already fallen off. This gave me plenty of ham and I didn't need to add more. I also took out a couple of cups of the cooked beans to puree, then added them and the chopped ham back to the pot. Simmered another half hour, and everything was perfectly cooked. The result was a thick, rich, flavorful soup. Luckily, no one else in my family likes beans so I get to freeze this soup in single servings and enjoy quite a few hearty lunches in the future!
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This soup turned out to be everything I hoped it would! Just had a bowl for lunch with some...