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Place beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours or overnight.
Drain and transfer the beans to a saucepan. Add enough cold water to the pan to cover the beans by 1 to 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, skim any foam that rises to the surface and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours; adjust the heat up or down to maintain the simmer and add more water only as needed to keep the beans covered.