- Combine dry beans in a large bowl and mix.
- Divide into 6 equal parts, about 2 cups each, and place in air tight containers.
- For each spice “package” combine 1 teaspoon EACH of garlic salt, crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Add 1 bay leaf to each package.
- Place each spice package in a small container or wrap in tightly woven cloth and tie securely.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes, Soak Time (for beans): 8 hours, Cook Time: 3-1/2 hours (stovetop)
- Rinse beans.
- Place in a large bowl and cover with water to 2 inches above the beans. Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain beans. Combine beans with 8 cups water and ham hock in a stock pot or Dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add spice mix, tomatoes, onion and liquid smoke. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 2 hours.
Remove lid and simmer an additional hour, or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaf.
- Remove ham hock; shred meat from bone. Return meat to soup. Serve hot.
Soup can be made using a slow cooker. Rehydrate beans as directed above. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook on high 5 to 6 hours, or low 8 to 10 hours.