A great winter soup.
- Boil the beans in 9 cups of the water and then let sit for one hour. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the bacon to your desired texture (it can be soft or crisp, whatever you prefer) and drain except for 1/4 cup grease. Coarsely chop the bacon.
- Add the onions and celery to the reserved grease and bacon and sauté until soft, do not drain. Add the chicken base or cubes, 4 cups water, beans, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cloves, and simmer for 2 hours.
- Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Serve.