1 hamhock bone + whatever meat is left on it (the more the merrier)
1 or 2 large onions cut in 1 inch squares
Several sliced stalks of cerlery
1 bay leaf
1 can chicken broth
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 good pinch dried tarragon
1 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves fresh garlic crushed and minced (or powdered eqiv.)
I do not add salt because ham is salty
Fresh thyme or rosemary
How to make it
Prepare beans as described on package. I personally like to combine all the ingredients, bring it to a boil, and then simmer covered for 2 to 3 hours.
This soup seems to get better after it has been sitting in the fridege a few days. Depending on the fat yeild, I will usually refrigerate and remove the top layer of fat before serving. This will not reduce the flavor noticably, and will remove some of the fat and sodium content.