1 lb dried Great Northern Beans (mixed if desired) or 1 lb other dried beans (mixed if desired)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp chopped Parsley
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1 lb smoked ham or a 1 lb ham hock
6 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
Sort beans and soak in enough water to cover overnight. If you’re making this for a traditional New Year’s Day meal, set the beans to soaking before you leave for your fabulous party.
[If you don’t have time (or didn’t remember) to soak the beans overnight, sort and rinse them the day you plan to cook them, and put in a heavy saucepan. Add water to cover 2 in above the dry beans.
Heat white beans over high heat, and boil for 3 minutes, before covering and removing from heat.
Allow to sit for one hour after boiling (don’t lift the lid).]
Whichever method you used, drain your soaked beans in a colander, then add to a large slow-cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (garlic, celery, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, cloves, coarsely cubed ham or ham hocks to the slow cooker. Put the lid on snugly, and allow to cook on low for about 8 hours.
Serve with warm cornbread.
NOTE: Recipe can be made vegetarian by omitting ham or ham hock, and using vegetable broth for liquid. Adding sliced peeled carrots adds flavor and color to the vegetarian soup.