Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, add the garlic, red pepper and onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the tomatoes and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and pour in the measurement water and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1–1½ hours until the beans are tender (you may need to allow for a longer cooking time, depending on how old the beans are).
Sprinkle in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in warm soup bowls with fresh, crusty bread.