1. In a large pot, such as a Dutch oven, soak the beans overnight with the water and bay leaves. (It’s an optional step, but can help them cook faster.)
2. The next day, add the halved pepper and halved onion to the bean pot. Bring the beans to a boil, lower the temperature to a simmer, and cook the beans partially covered, skimming off and discarding any scum, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour, adding 1 teaspoon of salt midway during cooking.
3. While the beans are cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the diced pepper and onion, and cook until wilted, seasoning with 1 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper, about 5 minutes. (You may need to add a bit more olive oil if the mixture is too dry or is burning.) Add the garlic and chile peppers, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, then add the cumin and oregano, and cook for another minute, until aromatic. Turn off heat and add a small splash of water, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any stuck on bits. Set aside.
4. When the beans are cooked, remove the halved onion and pepper from the bean pot, as well as the bay leaves. (Discard the bay leaves.) Puree the onion and pepper halves in a blender or food processor (or with a potato masher) along with about 2 cups (320g) of the beans and enough of their liquid so they’ll puree, if using a machine.
5. Return the pureed vegetables and beans back to the pot and add the red wine vinegar, chopped olives and cooked vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook about 15 to 20 minutes more, seasoning with additional salt, if desired.