Step 1 Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the chorizo in olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove top until the chorizo has rendered some fat and begun to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Step 2 Add the dried beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover tightly and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Add the salt, stir and continue cooking, covered, until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The beans should be like a thin stew; if necessary, add more water, one-quarter cup at a time. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season to taste with more salt if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper. (The dish can be prepared up to this point a day ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered.)