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Bacon and Bean Soup

1 c Dry pinto or other beans
1 qt Water; or more, hot
1 Ham bone: or 1/4 lb Salt pork; diced or 1/4 lb Back bacon; cubed
1/2 ts Salt; or to taste
2 Ribs celery, chopped
1 md Carrot; chopped
1 md Onion, chopped
1/3 c Turnip; diced
2 Bay leaves
1/2 ts Thyme
1/2 ts Pepper
1/4 ts Sage; [optional]
1/2 ts Louisiana hot sauce; or
1 ts Prepared mustard; [opt'l]
1 tb Parsley; chopped

Wash and pick over the beans, removing stones, loose skins and shriveled beans. Put in a large covered pot and cover with hot water. Soak over night if you want to cut down on cooking time. When beans start to simmer add ham bone, salt pork or bacon. Add more water as needed but only hot or boiling water. Do not add cold water as the beans will turn dark. If you cook without a lid the beans will also turn a dark color. Do not salt until the beans are cooked.

Remove the hambone from the pot, pick the meat from it and return the meat to the pot. Add the other ingredients except the parsley to the pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaves and ladle into warm soup tureen or soup bowls. Garnish with fresh minced parsley. This soup tastes even better if it is rested and re-heated the second day.

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