In your soup pot, melt a Tbs. butter and saute 1/2 onion, chopped fine.
After the onions get a little brown and sticky, add:
2 cans white beans
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 c. chopped ham
1-2 carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
a dash of garlic powder
Fresh cracked pepper
Put the lid on the pot and simmer on med. low for and hour or two, till carrots are tender and beans are falling apart. If you want to thicken the soup at this point, you can take some out, (excluding the ham chunks), and puree in a blender, then add it back in. (If you have an immersion blender, which is really such a handy tool to have in your kitchen, just stick it in the pot and blend it up a little.) This will give you a thicker soup. If you want a creamier soup, stir in a little sour cream or cream before serving. Enjoy with a hot loaf of crusty peasant bread, of course!