About 2 lbs. of cooked ham, try this (we use leftover ham)
4 to 5 slices of cooked bacon with fat, try this
6 to 8 cups (your preference) of soaked and cooked or uncooked beans ***
1 small to medium onion, diced
1 1/2 to 2 cups celery, diced, including some leaves
Filtered water or broth
1 - 2 tbsp. gelatin (optional), try this
Sea salt, ground pepper, dried thyme, and dried basil to taste
1. Fill a large pot (8-qt soup pot) about 2/3 of the way with water or water/ stock or just stock (about 5 quarts). Add your ham, onion, celery, and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer.
2. In the meantime, cook your bacon. In a skillet over medium to medium-low heat, cook bacon until done. Chop into bite sized pieces with a pair of kitchen shears and add to your pot along with the bacon fat. Add your gelatin, stir to combine.
3. Simmer on very low for 3 to 4 hours. Stir occasionally, breaking apart ham when you do.
This is a wonderful meal on a cold day. It makes about 8 servings. You can use any bean that you prefer, but I like a white bean for this soup. I keep cooked and soaked beans in the freezer and will just take out what I need, but you could start with soaked and uncooked beans as well, since they will be cooking for a few hours. I would not recommend skimping on cooking time as you will need the time for the flavors to come together. By the way, the gelatin is optional -- I have just been sneaking gelatin into everything these days and wanted it for the nutritional boost. If you haven't already, please read this article by the Food Renegade about the benefits of gelatin.
*** Soak your beans for 24 hours in a bowl with warm water and whey or lemon juice.