Like many families, we had a meaty ham bone leftover from Christmas dinner, and it was the base for this soup. I soaked great northern beans overnight, then added a chopped onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, the ham hone, 1 bay leaf, some celery salt, and enough water to cover it all in a large crockpot. I cooked on high for 6 hours, then removed the bone and scraped off any meat that hadn't already fallen off, and returned the meat to the soup. I cooked on low for another two hours, then scooped out about a cup of the beans and zipped them in the food processor and put them back in the soup to thicken it up. Shortly before serving, remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Add salt, white pepper, and this soup calls for something sweet. Maple syrup might be good, but I didn't have any, so I added some honey. A very filling soup. Maybe a fresh parsley garnish would be pretty. I served it with a fresh baquette.