Cook the bacon in a soup pot or Dutch oven until crisp.
Remove the bacon from the pot, leaving the drippings in the pot.
Add carrots, celery and onions (+ham bone if using). Grate garlic over the top and add thyme then season with salt and pepper.
Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until carrots are softened.
Add the tomato paste, blend and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the chicken stock and drained beans.
Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, pulse several times leaving some beans whole.
Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.
Add the parsley and chopped bacon.