A rich, creamy soup that's very easy to make. I came up with this recipe when faced with a bowl of soaked navy beans and the requirement to do something with them, using what I had on hand. This is a very flexible recipe, as you can use any small bean and substitute ham for the bacon.
The bacon should be the premium smoked, thick-sliced bacon that's usually sold in bulk. Try to get the leanest they have. If you can't find this, Oscar Mayer has a thick-sliced premium bacon that comes in 12-oz packages. Use one package. If you use ham, get one of the no-water-added hams from the deli section, like Black Forest or brown sugar cured, and use about a third of a pound, chopped coarsely. Using ham will reduce the richness, of course, which may not be all bad.
This soup is very good right out of the pan, but it's even better the next day.