Boil the beans in the water for 2 minutes before removing them from the heat to let stand for 1 hour. Then add the ham bone, garlic and bay leaf to the beans, and cover and simmer them for 2 hours or until the ingredients are almost tender. Add the vegetables and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer them for 1 hour longer. Remove the ham bone, cut off the meat and dice it to add to the beans. Reheat the soup almost to boiling, then remove the bay leaf.