Wash beans well, pick over, and drain. Place in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and set aside for 1 hour. Drain the water and add fresh water to cover the beans.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender. Taste and add pinch or two of salt if necessary.
How to Cook Dried Beans
You need: beans, water, and a pot.
SOAK: Check the beans for bits of rock or dirt, give them a quick rinse to remove any dust, and then place in pot or bowl and cover with water to at least two inches above the top of the beans. Put a cover on the container and place in fridge to soak 6-8 hours.
COOK: Rinse the beans again, place in pot, add water to at least two inches above the top of the beans again, cover, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and let beans simmer until tender, usually from 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on the type of bean. Check occasionally to see if you need to add more water. You can freeze the beans once cooked if you don’t plan on using them until later.
CALCULATE: One cup of dried beans makes about three cups of cooked beans. Dry beans are often sold in 1-pound bags. Each 1-pound bag holds about two cups of dry beans, which will make six cups of cooked beans. If you want to use canned beans, a 15-oz can usually holds about one and a half cups of cooked beans.