2 c. dried beans (I typically use navy beans)
1 1/2 quarts water
1 ham bone or 1 1/2 lbs. ham butt
1 large chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery and leaves
4 cups canned tomatoes (diced)*
3/4 cup diced, peeled potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Combine beans and water in large kettle; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand one hour. Simmer beans without draining until tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.
In the meantime simmer the ham in water to cover. Skim fat from the broth and add beans. Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Makes 10 servings.
*If I'm cooking for someone who doesn't appreciate solid tomato chunks, I'll replace the canned tomatoes with a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce.