Rinse beans thoroughly with cold water. Check for any small stones or debris and discard.
In a large stock pot, sauté onion and garlic in a small amount of cooking oil. When the onion becomes translucent, add the water. Bring to a boil. Add beans and contents of seasoning packet. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer beans for 1.5-2 hours. Then check the beans for tenderness every 15 minutes. When fully cooked, salt and pepper to taste.