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Navy Bean and Ham Soup

1 lb. bag of navy beans
1 medium size smoked ham hock (these are delicious, and cheap!)
onions, to taste
pepper, to taste
garlic granules, to taste

Place dry beans in slow cooker. Add at least one chopped onion. Cover with water to within about 2" of top. This leaves room for the beans to expand. Cook on low 6-8 hours. By this time the beans and meat should both be tender. Remove the ham hock, pick out the good meat, discard the fat and bone. Set aside. Remove about 1/3 of the beans, place in blender, blend until smooth. Return mixture to slow cooker. Repeat with more beans until the soup has a bean-to-smoothie ratio to your taste. Add ham meat. At this point, if the onions have "disappeared" into the soup, and if you like chunks of onion, chop more onion, microwave until tender, and add to soup. Taste for seasoning, add pepper and garlic if desired. The ham hock is so salty you probably won't need to add any salt. Allow to simmer for a time, to let the seasonings mix in. Time depends on your taste, and how much longer you can stand it until you can eat some! It is a bit fatty from the ham hock. To remove the fat, place the soup in a container and refrigerate. Skim hardened fat from top, and reheat. This soup freezes well.

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