Rinse beans. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, combine beans and the 8 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. (Or let the uncooked beans and water soak overnight.) Drain and rinse beans; set aside.
In the same Dutch oven, cook onion in hot oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in beans and broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender.
Stir in snipped sage, salt, and pepper. If desired, top each serving with Sage French Bread Toasts and sage leaves. Makes 8 (1-1/2 cup) main-dish servings.
Sage French Bread Toasts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a little olive oil onto slices of French bread. Rub each slice with a cut garlic clove; sprinkle sage. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until light brown.