There is this library - https://github.com/esp8266/Arduino That provides a more user-friendly API for WiFi capabilities with the ESP8266.
However, all tutorials that I found so far for this library show how to program the ESP8266 (usually 12) directly. That is not what I'm looking for.
My current setup is having an Arduino Uno/Nano where the ESP8266 is connected to, say, GPIO8 and GPIO9 (RX, TX) and I use SoftwareSerial to communicate with it with AT commands. So I want to keep all the logic in my Arduino, but use ESP-01 only to provide WiFi capabilities to my Arduino.
However in that library I don't see the option to set the serial port pins (RX and TX) so I'm not sure if that's even possible.
In short - I want to use this library, but not program the ESP directly. Also, I'm using an ESP-01 and not 12.