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Ham Bone Bean Soup

1 lb. dry navy beans (2 1/3 c.)
1 1/2 lbs. meaty ham bone, or 1 1/2 lbs. hocks
1/2 tsp. salt
6 whole black peppers
1 bay leaf
1 med. onion, sliced


Thoroughly wash beans. Cover with 2 quarts cold water and bring to boiling; boil gently two minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Do not drain.) Add ham bone, seasonings. Cover; heat to boiling; boil gently until beans are tender, about 3-4 hours. Add onion last half hour. Remove ham bone, if desired, mash beans slightly. Cut ham off bone and return meat to soup. Season with salt and pepper.


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