(aka Bean & Bacon Soup, but we thought that name was too boring.)
1 (16 ounce) package dried navy beans
9 cups water
1/2 pound bacon
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 bay leaf
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups water
1.Cook the beans on HIGH in 9 cups of the water for one hour. Drain, rinse, and dump back in crock-pot. (If you soak & rinse your beans, you can skip this step.)
2.Cook the bacon to your desired texture (soft or crisp, whatever you prefer) and drain except for 1/4 cup grease. Coarsely chop the bacon. (In a pinch, I used a jar of real bacon bits instead and used 1/4 cup butter for the next step. It was fantastic this way.)
3.Add the onions and celery to the reserved grease and bacon and saute until soft, do not drain. Add the chicken base or cubes, 4 cups water, beans, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cloves, and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
Serve over cornbread.
The kids (and adults) all loved this soup. Everyone asked for seconds. Great flavor!