Sort and wash beans; place in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours.
Drain beans; return to pan. Add 1 gallon water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 2 hours or until tender. Drain beans, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Place beans in a bowl; stir in reserved cooking liquid and salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Wash and dry pan.
Heat pan over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add oregano, garlic, and bay leaf; sauté 2 minutes or until garlic is golden. Stir in bean mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook 4 minutes or until creamy, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; remove and discard garlic and bay leaf. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.