Yield: 6 servings.
1 pound pinto beans
3 quarts chicken stock
1 large sweet onion, cut in quarters
1 bay leaf
1 pound thick-sliced bacon, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 medium sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
Pick through the beans and remove any small rocks or debris. Rinse the beans well, then cover with cold water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.
Drain and rinse beans. Transfer beans to a soup pot and add chicken stock to cover by 2 inches. Add onion quarters, bay leaf, and bacon, and bring to a boil. Cover pot with lid and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook beans for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Stir in salt, pepper, and sugar. Continue simmering for another hour. Beans will be soft and the broth lightly thickened. Garnish with freshly chopped sweet onion.