Every week, I make at least one pot of beans. I'll soak and cook a pound of the heirloom white, black or pinto type, from Rancho Gordo, and then head off in some culinary direction or another. This gingery, lemony combination came about as a result of what I found in the refrigerator more than anything else; it is so delicious, I keep making it again and again. —MrsWheelbarrow
Rinse the beans well, cover with cold water, and soak overnight. The next day, place beans and soaking liquid, plus additional water, as needed to cover, in a large stockpot. Add one onion, chopped, and two bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (or place in a 325 oven) for about 1.5 hours.
Taste the beans to see if they are tender. They should be nearly done. Salt well, continue cooking for another half hour, or until the beans are tender and tasty.
Finishing the Beans
Mis en place: Make a bouquet garni using the outside leaves of the leek, enclosing the thyme, parsley, ginger root (peeled and cut into 1/4" slices) and peppercorns. Tie up with kitchen twine.
Clean the leeks and cut into half moons about 1/2" thick. Cut the onion into half moons about 1/2" thick. Peel, seed and chop the squash into 1" cubes. Rinse, stem and chop the kale leaves. Rinse the preserved lemon, remove the pulp and mince the peel.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onions and leeks until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and stir cook for two or three minutes. Salt & pepper generously.
Add the squash, stir and coat with the oil and onions, cooking for a few minutes. Add the bouquet garni, lemon, kale and beans. Stir well, heat to a simmer and cook gently for about 45 minutes. Remove bouquet. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
I've served this with brown rice and with basmati rice, but think it's best when served with thick pieces of crusty bread, rubbed with garlic infused olive oil, toasted, and nestled into the bottom of a big, wide bowl.