Place dried beans in a Dutch oven, and cover with water 2 inches above beans. Soak 8 hours. Drain.
Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until tender. Add beans, 2 quarts water, and next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked rice; sprinkle with chopped green onions.
* 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained, may be substituted for dried beans. Omit 2 quarts water, and reduce simmering time to 15 to 20 minutes.