Preparation / Directions:
CHEF'S NOTE: In place of the smoked ham hocks, you may substitute 8 ounces lean, diced salt pork or 1 pound cooked, diced bacon. In place of the chicken stock, you may substitute an appropriate amount of chicken base or prepared bouillon cubes.
STEP ONE: Wash beans in cold water and transfer to soup pot. Add all other ingredients except salt, pepper, and sherry. Simmer at least three hours or until a bean will crush easily.
CHEF'S NOTE: An optional method of preparing this soup that we do not use includes this step: Remove the bay leaf and ham hocks, and puree beans in a food mill or sieve.
Return to heat and add salt, pepper, and sherry. Adjust the consistency to your preference.
* If too thin, add a little roux made of equal parts butter and flour. Stir over heat until rich and creamy.
* If too thick, add a small amount of chicken stock.
To serve, sprinkle with grated cooked egg, or thin, sliced raw onion and lace all over with Dry Sack Sherry. Top with a dollop of sour cr