Cincinnati Chili, Five Ways
Put first five ingredients into a very large soup pot and add water to almost cover. The hambone may stick out by about 1/3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about an hour or so. Add the carrots, potatoes and ketchup, cover and continue to cook for at least another hour or more, until soup is slightly thickened and beans are falling-apart tender. Remove bay leaves and pass the vinegar!
NOTES: This is best made with a leftover ham bone, from whatever holiday you may have eaten a ham. Freeze the bone, if you aren’t ready to use it right away. Leave some of the meat on, so there is plenty in the soup. If a ham bone is not available, use 2 - 3 smoked ham hocks, making sure there is a little meat on them.
When serving, pass a cruet of vinegar! Anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon (to taste) in the bowl really heightens the flavors tremendously. Serve with a nice crusty bread and some butter and prepare to feast!
Mom and Dad's Bean Soup
Mom and Dad took some shortcuts in later years; witness the baby carrots. This photo was taken by my Dad, many years ago. Both parents are gone from this world but never forgotten.
Split Pea, Vegetable and Ham Soup