Rinse beans well. Soak overnight in cold water.
The next day, saute onion, carrots, garlic and ham hock in margarine for about 5 minutes. Add drained beans and chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer until beans are tender, approximately 1 to 2 hours. If more liquid is needed, add more water or stock. Caution: Do not add too much liquid. Before finishing soup, add cayenne and black pepper, paprika, parsley, Tabasco and salt, to taste. If a smoother texture is desired, thicken with roux.
Approximate values per serving: 229 calories, 6g fat, 17mg cholesterol, 24g carbohydrates, 716mg sodium, 26 percent calories from fat.
This is served at Crackers & Company Cafe at 535 W. Iron Ave., in Mesa, Arizona. Recipe typed by Joyce Kohl, The Improv Bbs. This recipe appeared in