2Using the pot you’re going to cook the beans in, sauté some onion and garlic (celery and carrot too, if you like) in olive oil or lard until soft.
3Add the beans and their soaking water, making sure the beans are covered by 2 inches of water. Stir and bring to a hard boil.
4Boil the beans for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
5When you start to smell the beans along with the aromatics, you’ll know that the beans are about three-quarters of the way done. Add salt to the pot (about 1 rounded tablespoon per pound of beans) and cook for about 30 minutes more.
6To test if the beans are done, skim a few out with a slotted spoon and blow on them: If the skins wrinkle, they’re done.