I boil the beans in enough water just to cover them 2x, discarding the water both times. It gets rid of the "gas" without adding extra sodium that using baking soda provides. Then I add enough water for the recipe, bring the beans to a boil, and add the ham bone, or ham hocks, or fried & crumbled bacon if I have no ham. Simmer until beans are just tender. Add the carrots and celery, and also try adding a coarsely diced green pepper; cook about 20 minutes more. Meanwhile, I dice the onion as finely as I have patience to do, and fry it up in bacon grease. When it's tender, I add a mixture of flour (about 1/4 cup), paprika (about 3 TBLS) and lots of black pepper. Add this to the soup, and stir and stir - the flour will just barely thicken the soup. This soup gets raves. Contact me for canning instructions.
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I boil the beans in enough water just to cover them 2x, discarding the water both times. It...