As I am on a soup diet, which seem strange but works for me, I am preparing this from an old recipe book. Although the dried beans are taking hours longer than the recipe suggests, I think it will work out okay. As the recipe is for 12-14 people, I am cutting it in half, which will give me a few meals. If it works out okay, Michelle might want some of it too. 2 ham hocks 2 cups dried beans (your choice), well rinsed 2 onions 1 bunch celery (chopped, leaves and all) 2 cups canned whole tomatoes, broken up 12 carrots, chopped 1-2 cups chicken broth 1 teaspoon basil 1 tablespoon salt ½ pound smoked Polish sausage, thinly sliced 2 zucchini, coarsely chopped 1 pint sour cream fresh parsley, chopped Place ham hocks, beans, onions, and celery in a large kettle. Add water to barely cover. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower heat. Simmer, covered, until beans are tender; about 2 ½=3 hours. Remove ham hocks and set them aside. Add tomatoes and carrots to soup, along with the broth and seasonings. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. During that time, remove meat from hocks, discarding all fat. Skim as much fat from the soup as possible. Return meat to soup, along with the sausage and zucchini. Simmer for 5 minutes. To serve, top each steaming bowl of soup with a good dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley for color. My observations: Immediately lowering the heat after bringing to a boil was a mistake. Every other time I have cooked dried beans, I would let them boil longer, stirring frequently. That didn't look like nearly enough beans for that kind of volume, so I added another ¼ cup. I am using a pork shoulder instead of a ham hock so that I don't have to mess with the bone. I am using fresh tomatoes instead. That's not nearly enough salt. I am going to skip the sour cream.