Sauté 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs and 1/2 of a chopped onion in 2 tablespoons butter until the vegetables are softened. Add 4 14.5-ounce cans drained navy beans, 4 cups chicken broth, 2 cups cooked, cubed ham, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and a bay leaf to the vegetables. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes, and remove the bay leaf before serving.
Cook 1 chopped onion and 4 chopped red potatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil for eight to 10 minutes, and add 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 pound of washed, quartered button mushrooms and salt to the potato mixture. Allow the mixture to cook for an additional eight to 10 minutes, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft.
Add 5 ounces of spinach leaves, cook for one minute, and add 1 14.5-ounce can drained, rinsed navy beans and 5 additional ounces fresh spinach leaves. Heat through before serving.
Another option is to sauté 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs and 2 cloves garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven. After five minutes, add 1 tablespoon of parsley, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 4 cups chicken broth and 3 15-ounce cans of navy beans to the vegetables, and cook the soup for 15 to 20 minutes.