Making soup is a two part process for me. First I have to make the appropriate stock, which while easy, requires some foresight. My method is to cook ham in the slow-cooker, generally with potatoes and onions, and reserve the liquid from that process. It freezes well, so I just take the frozen stock out of the freezer about the same time I start soaking the beans. It’s pretty much the only way I make stock for bean soup, so while there are alternatives available, I’m not going to comment on those. Beyond that, my base recipe is as follows:
1 bag dried beans (I use a soup mix that has a variety of beans. If you go that route, do not use the included flavoring packet.)
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb. bacon
1 bay leaf
dash of seasoned salt
dash of celery salt
thyme and sage to taste
Soak dried beans overnight, rinse, simmer until they are properly squishy.
While beans are simmering, cook bacon. Chop cooked bacon into bite-sized pieces.
Use bacon grease to fry half the onion. I prefer mine very crispy and slightly blackened.
Once beans are done add stock, bacon, and onion. Coarsely grate the carrot (because I don’t particularly like vegetables and they’re much better if they’re small) and add that as well.
Add bay leaf, salts, and spices.
Simmer soup for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
Next time I’d like to try a little molasses, some apple cider vinegar, and try to incorporate more vegetables.