Place beans, water, olive oil, whole garlic, the bay leaf, and the onion in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil for about an hour.
While the beans are cooking, chop up your veggies and put everything in a large crockpot. You can put the chicken breasts in as is and shred at the end (super easy) or you can cut them up and cook in pieces. Whichever you like.
After the beans have boiled for an hour or so (they should be almost cooked through, but not quite), pour the whole thing into the crockpot over the veggies and chicken. Add more water if needed until everything is covered. Add the spices, salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
If you don't have a crock pot, it's just as easy to cook this in a large pot. Boil the beans for an hour, add the chicken and spices, and continue to boil for about an hour. Add all the veggies and boil until the veggies are to your liking.
I use tomatoes as a garnish for this dish and let everyone add their own at the end. If you want the tomatoes cooked into the soup (also very yummy!), add them before any of the other veggies.
Either way is yummy. My family LOVES this stuff! It looks and sounds very complicated, but it really isn't. You just use whatever veggies you have on hand and throw them together in a pot.