I made a pot of bean soup today with some Good Mother Stallard heirloom beans that I ordered from Rancho Gordo last month. This is a photo of the beans after I soaked them for 24 hours. The colors and patterns of heirlooms, which are old varieties, are so much fun.
I read that you should always salt your beans at the end of cooking time, about 10 minutes before they are done. This is important because adding salt at the beginning will cause the beans to remain tough. Beans cooked without salt tend to disintegrate, which is O.K. for soups but not if you are making bean salad.
Kombu seaweed is very good for mild elimination of toxins. After it has been in the water for just a few minutes, it softens and smoothes out. Instead of throwing it in the pot as a whole piece, you can break the crispy dehydrated strip into 4 or 5 pieces, if you like.
Two and one-half hours later... a hot hearty soup perfect for a cold wintery day.