1 pound navy beans, rinsed and sorted
1 T. oil, or 2 ounces bacon, diced and rendered
½ cup onions, small diced
½ cup carrots, small diced
½ cup celery, small diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ½ quarts stock or salted water (add about 2 t. salt to the water)
a ham bone or a smoked turkey drumstick
1 bay leaf
¼ t. dried thyme
¼ t. ground black pepper
Saute the onion, celery and carrot in the oil or bacon over medium heat until almost tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil in a pressure cooker. Snap lid in place and cook at pressure for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to depressurize, then simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Some like to serve this soup garnished with diced tomatoes, chopped parsley or a sprinkle of ground clove.
If you do not have a pressure cooker, soak the beans overnight, then simmer soup for 1.5 to 2 hours. This can also be cooked in a slow cooker.