Three methods for cooking beans from dry to use in recipes. I tend to make them plain and then season in the recipes, but feel free to add onion, garlic and spices if you plan to eat them as is.
Option 1: Just cook, no soak
- Put 1 pound of dried beans in a large (4-5 qt) pot with enough water to cover at least 3 times.
- Add some chopped onion if you like. No salt yet.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stir and cover.
- Let cook for at least 1.5 hours before you start checking them. Small beans may be close at that point, but large beans or chickpeas might take a lot longer.
- Check a few beans for doneness. Usually some cook more quickly than others, so don't go on just one. Repeat every 15 minutes or so until they're very close to done.
- If they're very close, add 1 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Let continue cooking another 15 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning. Turn off and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Option 2: overnight soak
- Put 1 pound of dried beans in a large pot with enough water to cover 2 times.
- Let soak overnight, 8-12 hours at least.
- Drain the water and cover again 2 times with cold water.
- Cook for about one hour, checking for doneness after 45 minutes.
- When they're almost done, stir in 1 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper.
- Let cook 5-10 more minutes until done and turn off heat. Let sit for a few more minutes before serving.
Option 3: quick soak (one or two hours before cooking)
- Put 1 pound beans in a large pot and put in enough water to cover 2x.
- Bring to a boil, TURN OFF pot and let sit for one hour or more.
- Drain water, cover beans again with fresh water.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes.
- When they're nearly done, add 1 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.
- Let cook until completely done, then turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving.