ok i've soaked my rather old navy beans for around 10 hours, then cooked them on stove top without any salt or other things. Boiled and simmered for an hour or more, added a can of carrots, chopped celery and some onion, cooked another hour, no salt yet ( might be some in the carrots) and still hard. I read that the skins are the culprit. well, what if i put them in the blender briefly to chop them up? if the skin is the problem, maybe that will help? yes it would make them no longer whole, but might be better than hard beans. Anyone ever do this? How did you soften hard beans that didn't soften easily?
I have in the past had some success with slow cooked beans that had barely softened, just enough to be edible. This was a mixed bean chilli, with onion, spices etc., but I hadn't added tomato. It was when I went to do so that I realised they hadn't softened.
I drained off the liquid and put the beans in the food processor for long enough that they were largely pureed with some part bean lumps and used them to make bean burgers (adding some flour of some sort to make them stickier).