Pick over dried beans and discard any misshapen beans or stones, then rinse under cold running water and drain. Place in a large bowl with cold water to cover by a few inches and let soak for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Drain the beans, place in a saucepan with water to cover by about 4 inches (10 cm), and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, 1–3 hours, depending on the variety and age of the beans (test them often for doneness). Season lightly with salt. Serve warm, or let the beans cool completely in their cooking liquid, then drain and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in a heavy-duty zippered plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.