1 ham bone with some meat left on, or two-three ham hocks
1 tbsp vinegar
2 cups Navy, Northern beans or mixed beans (I used Polish beans)
8 cups water
2 cloves garlic,whole or minced
2 bay leaves
small handful of parsley
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 medium potatoes, cubed
Soak beans overnight in warm water or water and vinegar. Put bones and other ingredients except carrots and potatoes in pot and simmer on low for at least four hours. I prefer all day. Add additional water as needed.
About an hour before serving, remove bones and pick off meat, return meat to pot. Remove parsley stems. If you want a meatier soup, you can add a little extra ham at this point. Add carrots and potatoes and cook soup until tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.