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Old Farm Bean Soup

1 pound dried navy or pea beans
6 cups water
1/4 pound salt pork
1 large onion -- chopped
1 large carrot -- pare/chop
4 sausage links -- scored
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme -- crumbled

Pick over beans and rinse under running water. Combine beans and water in a large kettle. Bring to a boiling; cover and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour; pour into slow cooker.

Place beans and liquid in slow cooker, score salt pork, almost to rind; push down into beans; stir in onion, carrot, sausage links, bay leaf, salt, pepper and thyme. cover.

Cook on low for 8 hours: stir beans; turn heat control to high and cook for 4 hours; stir beans with a wooden spoon and mash some of them against the side of the cooker to thicken soup. Taste beans; season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

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