do the beans on a 1 hour soak- bring to boil for two mins then allow to sit for an hour.
meanwhile chop the veggies- I chopped roughly and it turned out nice and stew-y.
In large (5 qt.)stockpot, saute the onion and celery in the oil. Add the beans and the bay leaves and fill the pot with water to within two inches. After 45 mins, add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer until the large beans are soft.