Saute the onions until soft and translucent. Remove the rind from the block of smoked bacon and cut into 1cm cubes. I cant tell you how much to use, as all smoked bacon has different strengths so use your judgement. You dont want the bacon to overpower the beans or flavour of the soup. Fryoff the bacon so that it is lightly coloured. Drain the beans, reserving the juice. In a stock pot, combine the ingredients and cover with the hot chicken stock. You could make your own or use a good shop bought one. Failing that, a good reserve is Knorr stock cubes or Knorr liquid stock made up with hot water. You need less salt if using these though. If you want it as a soup, add more stock. As casulet or stew needs less. Simmer for 20 mins or so on the hob. Taste for seasoning as you go along. Serve with a nice rustic, crusty loaf. Keeps well in the fridge and tastes better the next day.