Pedestrian, uninspired, serviceable
Put your bag of dried beans into a sauce pan larger than you think you'll need, then cover the beans with fresh water overnight. Throw out the water in the morning, and cover the fullsize beans with fresh water again. That's the beans.
The soup part is even simpler. Add salt, thyme, black pepper and bits of ham that you have cut up with kitchen shears. Simmer on low heat for about three hours. Don't overdo it, or you'll get mush. Unless you like mush, of course.
Vegans don't need permission to leave out ham. The soup is still ok. There's a lot of it. From there, you can elaborate. Click on the image for another recipe that looks interesting to me. Yes, all bean soups go well with fresh, uncooked onions and a slice or two of week old whole grain bread. Won't improve your life expectancy, though. Try vitamins.