(6 - 8 servings)
2 cups dry great northern beans
2 quarts chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and pick over the dry beans. Soak the beans in water that covers them by a couple of inches for 8 hours; rinse.
In a soup pot, saute onion, celery and carrot until just tender. Add garlic and saute for one minute more. Add beans, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding additional stock if needed.
Discard bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with bacon just before serving.