HEAT THE OIL IN A LARGE saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ham and saute, stirring
frequently, for 5 minutes.
Add the beans, rosemary, chicken stock and pepper, and
bring to a boil.
Simmer, covered, for 3 minutes.
Taste the cooking liquid, and add enough salt so that it
becomes slightly salty (the amount needed will vary
depending on the type of ham used for seasoning).
Recover the pot and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the
beans are soft.
Puree the mixture in a food processor fitted with the steel blade
or in a blender.
Serves 6 to 8.
The soup can be made up to three days in advance and