Should You Soak Beans Before Cooking?

Soaking beans has its advantages. It speeds up the cooking time and produces tender cooked beans that are less likely to split during cooking. The advantage to skipping the soaking step, however, is that the longer cooking period produces a rich, savory broth. You can skip the addition of vegetable or chicken broth when you cook your unsoaked beans from scratch, especially to make soup. This recipe for black bean soup from Bon Appetit specifically calls for unsoaked beans to create a soup with the best savory flavor: