To make navy bean soup, soak the beans overnight in cool water, drain the water the next day and simmer the beans with ham hock, chopped onions, herbs, black pepper powder and salt. Cook until beans are soft, add celery and carrots, and remove the hocks off the meat.
Use 1 pound of navy beans to make eight servings of the soup. Instead of soaking navy beans overnight, boil them in water for three to five minutes, turn off the heat and let the beans sit in hot water for approximately one hour. Drain all the water.
In a soup pot, add 7 to 8 cups of water to the beans. Also, add one or two ham hocks, one chopped onion and one garlic clove. If desired, add in 2 cups of diced ham. Add one teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly powdered black pepper and a herb bundle containing 10 parsley sprigs, 2 rosemary or thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf for flavor.
Boil all the ingredients, cover the pot and cook on low heat. Allow the soup to simmer for around 90 minutes. Stir and skim occasionally. Now, add 1/2 cup each of sliced celery and carrots and cook for another 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Take the meat off the hocks and dice them. Discard the herb bundle. To make a thick and smooth soup, puree approximately three cups of the beans and stir them with the meat into the soup. Serve hot with a dollop of butter.