With the saliva still flowing in my mouth, I emailed Fritz and demanded a recipe. Here it is, folks--with the caveat that it's a complex and continually changing recipe, subject to what ingredients happen to be handy or not and one's own ephemeral tastes and cravings.
Cover 4 lbs. of northern beans with 7 quarts of water and simmer for 2 hours before you add anything else.I'm guessing that the vegetables and and spices should probably be added closer to the end of the cooking process as well. Otherwise (experience has taught me) the potatoes and carrots will just dissolve into a cloudy murk, and the aromatic power of the herbs will be lessened. Adding the liquor last is a great idea, though. I particularly enjoyed their touch on the palate!
Afterward you can add a ham bone, 6 cups cut-up ham meat or pulled pork, 6 cups diced potatoes, 3 cups diced carrots (=1 bag of baby carrots), 2½ to 3 cups celery (=6 stalks), 2 heaping teaspons "Better Than Bullion" beef base, 2 tablespoons ham base, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon dried basil, 1½ teaspoon curry, 2 teaspoons pepper, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon thyme, 1 ground-up onion, and ¼ cup molasses.
At the end put in 16 oz. Cabernet wine and 2 cups eggnog. Voilà!
I don't know about you, I'm going to make this soup very soon. I just hope it is at least half as mouthwateringly savory as Fritz's last batch!