This dish takes a long time to cook (12 hrs), but it can be done in a slow cooker, so it doesn't need to be supervised much.
A ham bone
4 C. cooked ham, cubed
2 C. dry navy beans
4 C. carrot pieces (I use those baby carrots in the bag, halved)
Start by putting the beans in a large bowl and covering with several inches of water. Let sit out on the counter 8 hours. Fill your slow cooker with cold water, drop in the ham bone, and let it sit on high for 8 hours.
Next, drain the beans. Now put a couple inches of hot water in a large pot and put it on the stove-top on high heat. It will boil quickly. Add a teaspoon baking soda to the water, then the beans. They will foam heavily, so watch them carefully. After a couple minutes, the cooking water will be bright yellow. Drain this water, and rinse the beans. This process makes the beans safe to eat even for people who are prone to getting painful gas.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the pieces of bone and cartilage from the slow cooker. Add the beans and let cook until the beans are soft, about 3 hours. Now add the ham and carrots, let simmer one more hour. The soup is ready when the beans are mushy and the carrots are soft.
That's it. Warning: The ham is salty! Don't add extra salt to this recipe, or you will regret it. Also, don't bother trying this recipe if you don't have a ham bone. It will turn out watery and bland.