Once the beans have been rinsed, cover them in 2 inches of cold water and let them soak for 8 hours or overnight.
Stir the ingredients half way through the cooking time.
Remove the bay leaves, taste for salt and serve in bowls straight from the crockpot.
Garnish with cilantro and optional diced hot pepper. This dish can also be served over rice and is an easy meal to freeze and serve later.