- 1 pound [454 g] dry navy beans [2 cups / 500-mL]
- 2 quarts [2 L] cold water
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] salt
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse, drain and transfer navy beans into a large saucepan; pour in cold water.
- Leave beans to soak overnight.
Simmer beans in water for 2 minutes; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Do not drain beans.
- Add meaty ham bone, salt, whole peppercorns and bay leaf.
- Cover and leave to simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, adding onion slices 30 minutes before the end of cooking time.
- Remove ham bone.
- If desired, slightly mash beans using a potato masher.
- Cut meat of ham bone; chop and add ham meat to soup.
- Taste for seasonings and salt if necessary then pepper soup before serving.