On the original preparation (altered for ingredient availability) the flavor was dead on, but the water content caused problems. Following is the NEXT suggested iteration.
Saute vegatables and spices.
These ingredients are listed in order of how long they should be sauted, so they can be prepared as they are being cooked.
Start with about 1 tsp ground black pepper
in cool olive oil, and start warming saute pan.
Add about 4 cloves minced garlic (or about 1/2 tsp dried granulated).
1 or 2 stalks of chopped celery
1 medium minced onion (about 1 cup) Saute for a minute or two, then add
1 chopped green pepper (about 1 cup)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
4 bay leaves
Saute a bit more, then add
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp tobasco sauce
Saute briefly (tomato seems to help spice/herb essence extraction) less than 1 minute, then add to bean pot.
While saute'ing remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the beans with slotted spoon
and squish them, then return to bean pot.
(Do in parallel with above saute step)
Add some bullion (ham, beef, chicken or vegetable) now if beans were cooked in plain water.
Add some sliced sausage (smoked turkey kielbasa, or anduille if available) and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Salt to taste.
Serve in a bowl topped with a mound of rice.
Add additional hot sauce if desired, and (optional) garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.