We love northern beans. I also put ham in mine or if I don't have ham I put bacon. I add water and a can of chicken broth, onions, parsley flakes, and if I have shedded carrots I add those, salt and pepper. I cook all day.
I know this sounds funny but northern beans use to have eyes and now they don't you could see the eyes floating around in the soup like when you cook black-eyed peas and see the eyes. We just had this discussion about that with my aunt and uncle who are in their 80's. They were also wondering what happened to the eyes in northern beans.