Have all ingredients soaked, cooked, chopped, and so on, as directed above.
Heat the oil in one [or two large] casseroles. Sauté the onion over medium heat until golden and wilted. Add the garlic, thyme, basil, and bay leaves and cook another minute. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, chopping them up as you add them.
If you are using canned beans and chick-peas, drain them in a