For the chicken:
1 chicken (preferably a stewing hen)
1 onion quartered
1 rib celery
Salt and pepper
For the soup:
1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnishing
Place chicken and vegetables in a large stock pot and cover with water (12-14 cups). Cook for at least two hours until chicken is almost falling off the bone.
Remove chicken to cool. Reserve broth for the soup.
When chicken is cool, remove flesh from bones and cut into chunks.
Add the beans, onion, celery, garlic, oregano, bay leaf and salt and pepper to the broth.
Cook the soup for 2 hours or more until beans are tender, then add chunks of chicken. Add parsley just before serving.