January is a perfect soup month , I know I have been cooking all kinds of soups, and beans and legumes are the best base for tasty velvety soups.
In most cases one begins by soaking the beans. An overnight soak is the easiest way to rehydrate dried beans before cooking. First pick out any bits of dirt or stones from the beans, and then rinse them. Put the beans in a large bowl or pot with cold water covering them by 4 inches or more. Most beans are sufficiently soaked in 8 hours; old beans take longer. Soak them up to 24 hours, until plump and not wrinkled. Skim off any floating particles, and then drain well before cooking.