I'm really not sure why this is called New Year's Soup, but the first time I made it was New Year's Day
several many years ago. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if the time hadn't been right while I was looking through my favorite cookbook (The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals) for a soup recipe to try. I'm glad I found it, because it's a very good soup - and I'm reminded of it when New Year's rolls around. I don't necessarily make it every year, but I'm reminded.
I've modified it slightly, like I do with most recipes. I just can't help myself!
You can use whatever beans you like. I used pinto beans. I made some whole wheat sourdough bread that we had with it, but I think cornbread is best. I'm going to heat the leftovers up tomorrow, and I think I'll make the cornbread then.