This recipe is from Katherine Hall PAge's "The Body in the Cast" (St Martin's Press, 1993, $19.95). It's from heroine Faith Fairchild's cookbook, called "Have Faith in Your Kitchen." Faith notes that the soup tastes better if made a day ahead.
Pick over beans, cover with cold water and bring to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand at least 1 hour. (Or soak beans overnight, changing water several times.)
Drain beans and place in a large pot. Rinse the ham hocks. Peel and quarter the onions. Bury hocks and onions in the beans. Add 7-8 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Be sure the beans are soft.
Remove the hocks or bone and strip any meat from them. Add the meat to the soup and puree in batches in a blender. (Note: A food processor sometimes leaks with this much liquid.) Put the pureed soup in a clean pot; warm, adding the seasonings and wine, if using. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and finely minced chives.