Soak your beans overnight, or use the quick soak method (submerge beans in enough water to cover them by 2 inches and a teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, let sit for 1 hour). Drain beans.
Heat your oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion. Sauté for four minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and sauté for another two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the beans, broth, bay leaves, herbs, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the lid to the pot and cook for another 30-45 minutes, or until the beans are quite tender. Remove the bay leaves from the pot. Taste and add freshly ground pepper to taste, along with any additional salt you might like. If you like, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the pot, or you can squeeze it over the beans when you serve them.
Serve the beans however you'd like to, or store/freeze for later use.