This soup turned out terrifically, but that's because I read all of the other reviews before making it, and attempted to fix the problems other people had noted: (1) to get tender beans, I soaked the dry beans overnight, discarded the water, and made the soup with fresh water, simmering for 2 hours--the beans were nice and tender; (2) to make the soup less watery, I used 6 1/2 cups water instead of 8--the soup turned out thick and hearty; (3) to avoid saltiness, I didn't add any salt, and used turkey ham instead of the traditional stuff, eliminating the ham hock as well (this may not have affected the saltiness, but it sure cut down on fat and calories). It's an easy recipe to experiment with--have fun and enjoy!
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This soup turned out terrifically, but that's because I read all of the other reviews before...