Smoked pork ( a knuckle works great)
Two slices of bacon
Thyme and bay leaf
A mild large chili (or not)
A little olive oil
Salt and pepper
Steep the beans overnight.
Cut the vegetables into medium dice. Twice the size of the beans.
Crush the garlic and strain the tomatoes.
In a suitable pot heat the olive oil and add the bacon which has been cut into strips. When that begins to sizzle add all the vegetables and allow to cook on a medium heat until the flavors combine. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add the beans and allow to cook in the vegetables and the oil for a few minutes. This will help the flavor. Add salt and pepper and thyme and bay leaf. Let cook for a few minutes and then add just enough tomato paste to give it a little color. Add the tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon.
Add the flour and combine the whole thing with a good wooden spoon. You need just enough flour to give the soup a little body, too much and you will ruin it. i would say about a heaped t/soon per pint and then an extra one. Combine this whole thing until you smell the flavors. Then add water, the juice of tomato and the ham hock.
Allow to cook for quite some time preferably in a slow cooker. When cooked remove some of the beans and strain them. Using a wooden spoon or such crush these beans and add them back to the soup. Correct seasoning , including garlic and serve. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves and the thyme branches.
-The amount of diced vegetable should be equal to the amount of beans.
-If the soup is too thick add some water or stock until you get the consistency you want. -Remember that as soon as this soup cools a little bit it thickens.
-Make notes on the amounts of vegetables etc. so that next time you will have a better idea of proportions and you won't need detailed recipes.
-I wash the beans before steeping them under running water and then I use the steeping water as stock.
You can enhance this soup by adding spices that you like. I added a little cumin to this but you can add paprika, chile powder, curry powder or anything you like. You can make it into a garlic and bean soup, a squash and bean soup. If you do add spices then add them just before you add the tomato paste.