1 pound (2 cups) navy beans, dried
2 1/2 quarts water
1 (1 1/2 pound) meaty ham bone
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bay leaf
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil the beans in the water for 2 minutes before removing them from the heat to let stand for 1 hour.
Add the ham bone, garlic and bay leaf to the beans, and cover and simmer them for 2 hours or until the ingredients are almost tender.
Add the vegetables and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer them for 1 hour longer. Remove the ham bone, cut off the meat and dice it to add to the beans. Reheat the soup almost to boiling, then remove the bay leaf.

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