Soak dried navy beans (or other white beans if desired) in the 2 1/2 quarts of water overnight. Discard the soaking water.
When ready to make the soup, fry the salt pork in a stock pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and potato. Lightly sauté until soft but not brown. Add the seasonings and ham bone.
Cover and bring to a boil slowly. Reduce heat once it boils and simmer gently for about 2 hours. Remove the ham bone and set it aside. Remove any meat on the ham bone, dice and add to the soup. Add the seasonings and simmer gently for a few minutes. Serve topped with chopped parsley.