How to Make It
Put the beans in a bowl, cover with water and let soak overnight. Drain the beans, put them in a medium saucepan and add the bay leaves, garlic cloves and 1 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, partially covered, until tender but not mushy, about 1 hour. Season with salt about 10 minutes before the beans are done. Drain the beans and discard the bay leaves and garlic.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until just crisp; pour off any excess fat. Add the onion and minced garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, vegetable stock and thyme and simmer over moderately low heat until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the corn and okra and cook until tender. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve.