In a 6-quart pressure cooker, combine 1 pound sorted, rinsed, and drained dried Great Northern beans, 2 chopped onions (1 lb. total), 1 dried bay leaf, and 5 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth.
Seal cooker. Following manufacturer's instructions, bring to maximum pressure (15 lb.) over high heat, then adjust heat to stabilize cooking rate. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Release pressure quickly, running cold water over pan.
Open pan. Serve beans or, for less liquid, stir often over high heat until mixture has consistency desired, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.