This is a simple recipe for basic black beans, which get a nice hint of flavor from the aromatics.
1 pound dried black beans—sorted, soaked overnight and drained
1 small onion, halved
1 carrot, halved
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
Put the beans in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until tender, about 1 hour. Season the beans with salt 10 minutes before they are done. Drain the beans. Discard the onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and serve.
The beans in their liquid can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.