This makes a wonderful bean soup, one of the best I have ever tasted. It is a little simpler than many other recipes because I use packaged diced ham instead of starting out with a ham hock or ham bone picking off the meat, grissel, and fat. The brown sugar and tomato sauce make a little bbq flavor.
cover beans with water and a table spoon of baking soda.Make sure there is plenty of water for the beans to soak up. Let sit over night or even 24 hours.
drain and rinse beans, put back in pot with 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken broth, add 2 whole dried bay leaves. Simmer at low heat until the beans are just tender, about an hour. Keep adding water as necessary so the beans don't burn.
remove and discard the bay leaves, add the carrots, onion, celery, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and ham, continue to simmer until all is tender. Continue to add water as necessary without getting to watered down.