To make ham bone soup, cook 4 bacon strips, and then cook 1 diced onion, 3 chopped carrots and 2 chopped celery stalks in the bacon fat. Simmer the vegetables with water, garlic, 1 ham bone, 3 cups beans and 9 cups cabbage. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Cook the bacon, transfer the meat to a plate covered with paper towels. Slide the chopped onion, carrots and celery into the hot fat, and stir them for five minutes. Add 3 minced garlic cloves, stir-fry it for one minute, and then add 1 bay leaf and the ham bone. Pour 8 cups water into the pot, add 2 tablespoons salt, and simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Stir in 9 cups shredded cabbage, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Add 3 cups cooked beans, simmer for 15 minutes, add 1 bunch chopped kale, and simmer for 15 minutes.
When the kale is bright green and very tender, take the pot off of the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Carefully taste the broth, and season it with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, crumble the bacon on top, and sprinkle a few drops of vinegar or hot sauce over the meat.