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 saute 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.
Per Serving: 631 calories; protein 26.6g; carbohydrates 52.2g; fat 35.3g; cholesterol 51.5mg; sodium 987.1mg.