This Navy Bean soup was one of my Father N Law's favorite, every time I make it I think of him, also my youngest Brother really loves this recipe. I was surprised when he came to visit me one time, this is what I had made for dinner, and he dug right in. I had never had it with Hot Water Corn Bread until last year, when a dear dear friend shared her recipe for it with me, I loved it so much, that I have made it at least 6 or 7 times since then. I am very happy to share it with you also.
FOR THE SOUP: Pick through the beans for any sand or rock pebbles. Wash them put in a large bowl; cover with cold water make sure water is at least 2 inches over beans as they swell while soaking, let them sit over night.
Drain and add beans to a large pot, and cover with at least 2 quarts of water, make sure beans are covered with water. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and let simmer over medium low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours has elapsed remove ham hocks or ham bone, and chop meat into bite size pieces, and return meat to soup pot. Continue cooking for the remaining 2 to 2 1/2 hours till beans are very tender, and broth has had time to thicken somewhat.
Serve with hot water corn bread,(RECIPE FOLLOWS) regular corn bread or muffins. Enjoy In the South some of us like to chop fresh green or white onions over our beans as you would in chili. WHAT EVER MAKES YOU HAPPY. Enjoy
HOT WATER CORN BREAD: Pre heat skillet(cast iron) with about 1 inch of cooking oil. MAKE SURE OIL IS VERY HOT BEFORE ADDING BREAD MIXTURE. Mix all the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl, stir to mix. Then add boiling hot water, and stir to combine into a thick paste consistency. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter into hot oil, and brown on both sides. Do not over crowd skillet. Careful oil should be very hot, so watch carefully. Patties will be crispy and crunchy on outer edges. SERVE IMMEDIATELY WHILE STILL HOT. Add butter or margarine if desired .
NOTE: You may use what ever type skillet you have, but my personal preferance is cast iron. Also you can use white corn meal, I just prefer to always use yellow.