Small red beans cook to tenderness overnight in a crock pot without soaking. I start them in the evening before I want them, add the kombu in the morning, and then complete the cooking about an hour before serving.
Cook the red beans in water until soft - I put them in a crock pot overnight. Add the chopped kombu.
Saute the garlic and ginger in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the onion and chopped peppers, cover and let saute 5-10 minutes or until thoroughly tender. Add to the cooked beans, and add salt to taste.
To thicken the sauce, take about 2/3 cup of the cooked beans, mash them and return to the cooking water. Let the dish sit another 15 minutes or so to get acquainted.