To soak beans, add 3 or 4 cups potable (drinking) water per half pound, then boil 2 minutes, then set aside for an hour.
Alternately (and more often done) let stand in same amount of water overnight.
After either method, drain and rinse beans, then proceed cooking per recipe.
Tips, Notes, and Variations
- As beans are a natural product, pick over beans, discarding any stones, dirt particles, or discolored beans before soaking or cooking.
- If you have hard water in your area, adding ⅛ teaspoon baking soda will reduce the cooking time.
- Split peas and lentils are an exception to this method as they do not require soaking.