|1 lbs Great Northern beans|
|1 large onion|
|4 cloves garlic|
|2 cans whole tomatoes (roughly chopped)|
|1 whole bay leaf|
|3 lbs cottage ham|
|1 bunch kale (alternately chard, escarole or any dark green)|
Put the beans in a large pot, cover with water by at least 3 inches and let soak overnight. (Or bring to a boil for a minute, let soak for at least an hour.) Drain the beans.
Put the beans back in the pot. Cut the onion into wedges and add along with the garlic and the tomatoes and bay leaf. Nestle the ham into the beans, and add enough water to cover the beans well and partially cover the ham.
Bring to a boil, then turn flame to low, cover pot and simmer for an hour and a half, or until the beans are tender. Check frequently to make sure they aren't dry or scorching. Add the greens and cook until they're tender. Remove the ham, cut into thick slices. If the beans seem too watery you can take a half a cup out and mash them and add them back in. You can also boil the mixture rapidly to reduce it, once the ham is removed.