New Year's Day Black-Eyed Pea Soup
ham bone with trimmings
Wash the beans well in cold water several times, then place in a large, heavy stew pot and cover with water.
Allow to soak overnight.
The next morning (start early ~ beans like to take their time), pour off the soaking water, and ham bone, 8 cups of water, onion and seasonings.
Put on the back of the stove and let simmer gently until beans are very tender, usually about 4 hours.
Add more water if needed.
Remove and discard ham bone.
If the water looks a bit scant pour in 1-2 cups more.
When beans are good and tender remove about a cupful of the beans and mash well with some of the bean liquid. (This can be done in a blender, of course).
Return mashed beans to pot, taste for seasoning, and serve steaming hot over freshly cooked white rice.