Soak the beans overnight:
As instructed before, try to soak the beans a night before. Use either the hot soak or the traditional one for the best results. Before soaking, make sure to wash and rinse the beans thoroughly. Use filtered water to soak the beans and you can use the same water to cook the beans as well.
If using the stovetop method, transfer the beans to a Dutch oven or large, heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the herbs and spices, if using and add enough water so that water is about an inch above the beans. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add water and bring the beans to a boil. Add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once it starts boiling, reduce to a low simmer and cook. Let the beans simmer in the liquid for about an hour or more depending on the type of beans you are using. Add salt, when the beans are barely tender and cook for some more time till the beans are tender yet have their shapes intact.
Cool and store the beans:
Beans stay good even for a week when kept in air-tight containers inside the refrigerator. However, I prefer to keep the cooked beans frozen for up to 3-months. Remember that beans need to be cooled down completely before storage.