A "chunky" ham & bean soup, full of flavor. Ingredients: 1 one-pound bag of dried, small white beans (navy, great northern, marrow, etc.) 1 smoked ham hock 1 pound of smoked, dried sausage such as andouille One large yellow onion Three large carrots Three large stalks of celery Olive or vegetable oil (saved bacon drippings are also good) 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (can use regular vinegar for substitute) Two bay leaves 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked ancho chili powder Salt Pepper Overnight: Pick through beans to remove any debris, rinse, cover with 1" of water in large dutch oven, cover and let soak overnight. Next day: Rinse beans thoroughly, return to dutch oven; rinse and add ham hock, laying on its side. Add bay leaves. Add water to just cover ham hock. Place on stove, bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for two hours. Remove ham hock to plate to cool. Season beans with pepper only, to taste. Remove about 1/2 cup of beans, coarsely mash with spoon, return to pot and stir, leaving on low heat. Rinse and trim carrots and celery. Cut into bite-size chunks, approx. 1/2" thick. Set aside. Peel onion and coarsely chop. Heat oil in large saut pan, add carrots. Saut over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and onions, continue sauting until onions just turn translucent, about another 8 to 10 minutes. Add chili powder, stir and cook for another minute. Add vegetables to beans in pot along with white wine vinegar. Increase heat to medium, cover. Slice the sausage on the bias approx. 1/4" thick. Using a fork, shred the meat from the ham hock. Add sausage and shredded ham to beans. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for another hour. Season with salt, as needed (shouldn't require much, if any) If the ham and sausage made it too salty for you, peel a potato, cut into quarters and add to soup. Remove potato before serving. For best taste, serve the following day. Remove bay leaves before eating. Meal: Hearty Ham & Bean Soup Tossed Salad Bread Bon appetit!