Bean Soup

1 jar of bean mixture*
red pepper (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 cups chopped ham or 1/2 smoked sausage ring
1 can tomatoes (up to 15 oz)	  	
1 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water
juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of minced garlic
Water for soaking beans

Wash beans, remove debris. Place beans in a pot and cover with water - soak overnight. In the morning, DRAIN, add 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer slowly, partially covered 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until beans are tender.

Add onion, tomatoes, red pepper, chili powder, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Service with crackers, cornbread, or other bread and a salad. Freezes well.

* BEAN MIXTURE: A mixture of beans/peas - kidney, pinto, black, navy, lima (small and large), red. Peas: blackeye, green split, yellow split. Lentils. Or a combination of your favorite beans.

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