Saute the onions in olive oil and some garlic and seasonings to taste. if meat it raw brown, if leftovers just toss in after adding water. Once the meat is browned add the vegetables and beans of choice. I like Lima, white, black-eye peas, or green beans or any combination of those. I sometime add carrots, potatoes, squash or cauliflower. Squash I try to add towards the end but its ok to add it early. Bring it to a boil and then trun down to a simmer and let simmer of at least 1 hour more is fine.
I am sure it can also be done in a cork pot not sure what changes it might need, but we have let it cook all day on the stove with no problems.
I like big chunks so it's more like a meal than a soup, but you can eat it like soup or over rice. We have made it with meat balls and then the next day and heated up some marinara and put the meatballs in that for a second meal or I have made eggs the following morning and heated the broth with some of the beans and onions and put that on some fried eggs and refried beans and a tortilla to make Hueveos Rancheros.