New Orleans Red Beans
1 lb dry red beans
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 bay leaves
1 cup chopped sweet green pepper
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pick through beans to remove bad beans; rinse thoroughly. In a 5-quart pot, combine beans, water, onion, celery, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir and mash some of the beans against side of the pan to thicken the mixture.
Add green pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until creamy, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
Serve over hot, cooked brown rice, if desired.