To make the stock, heat a large pan with a dash of oil and brown the bacon bones. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 3-4 minutes before adding 4 cups of water and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Strain the stock, reserving the liquid for the soup. Remove the meat left on the bacon bones to add to the soup. Discard vegetables and bay leaf.
Place the stock, an extra 4 cups water and soup mix or split peas into a large saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add reserved meat and diced vegetables, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. Lastly, add the cannellini beans and cook for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beans are heated through.