Drain the beans and add fresh water to cover. Add ½ teaspoon salt and a splash of lime juice and cook until tender. If preparing on a stovetop, bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook for about 1½ hrs, checking liquid levels and adding more water if needed. If using a pressure cooker, it's 3 mins at 15 PSI and slow release.
Coat the bottom of a soup pot with the oil and add ½ teaspoon salt, the cumin and the chili powder. Cook on medium heat for about 30 seconds to release the aromatic smell but don't let it get to the smoking point.
Add the onion. Stir and cook for about 10 mins. Add the pepper and continue to cook for another 10 mins. Add the cooked black beans and liquid to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 - 15 mins. Add lime juice and optional cilantro before serving.
Serve with Orange and Blueberry Salsa and rice. (Recipe♦337)