Over at Frugal Upstate the frugal recipe talk has moved on to beans. When I was a kid, my mom made what she called 'soup beans'. I now know everybody else in the world calls them Ham&Beans, but at our house it was Soup Beans. (Of course we also ate Cheese Toasties v. grilled cheese.) This is one of those things I make which needs no real recipe. It is comfort food though, that always reminds me of my mom.
1 pound navy beans(soak these overnight)
10-12 C water(depends on how soupy you like it)
1 meaty ham hock(you can throw in ham instead if you have it but hamhocks are pretty cheap, or use the leftover one from a ham)
a few good handfuls of chopped onion(1/2-1 onion)
Bring it all to a boil in a large pot or dutch oven. Turn to a simmer and let cook a couple hours (beans should be soft and splitting)
Serve with the obvious cornbread (we like ours a little sweet, sorry southerners). I eat mine with a sprinkling of fresh chopped onion and tabasco. Everyone else just eats them with the cornbread broken up in the bowl. This is good stuff people.