Cooking time includes time to "quick soak" the beans -- this method seems to work well for those of us who never remember to soak in advance. You can eliminate this step if you soak overnight, or use canned beans. This was published in Cooking Light, Oct 2002. It was "paired" in the article with Recipe #198437. It's subtle sweetness is the perfect foil to the smoky spicy flavours of this soup. You could reduce the liquid a little to make this more like a chili or stew.