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White Bean White Ale and Ham Soup

White Bean Beer and Ham Soup

Most of the phases of life we live fade in a way that we don’t really know the exact moment it ends. We don’t always  know the day we stopped being children or the moment we fell out of love, or the day a big friendships started to drift away.

With moving, you know. You know the last day you lived in that house you loved so much. The last day you were a resident of city. And you know the day you started a new life in a new city.

The boxes are starting to get packed, the nonsense I’ve accumulated over the past few years has started to find it’s way to the donation centers, and my days as an LA resident are counting down. I’m saying Goodbye to things I didn’t know I’d miss, the warm weather is being reveled in, and the I’m finding more still moments to just enjoy the view. Even on the packed LA freeways.

I’m also preparing to live in a world were I’ll eat a lot of cold weather comfort food. Like slow cooked soup. I’m starting now, cooking big pots of warm soup, made with beer, and topped with fresh produce. Because some habits die hard.

White Bean Beer and Ham Soup2

White Bean White Ale and Ham Soup


  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 lb dry great northern beans
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces white ale
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 cups chopped precooked ham
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup baby arugula


  • In a large Dutch oven over medium heat melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes (make sure the heat is rather low, if the heat is too high and your shallots will burn before they caramelize, patience is key).
  • Add the beans, broth, beer and ham bone to the pot, bring to a low simmer.
  • Allow to simmer until the beans are cooked through, about 2 hours.
  • Add the ham, salt and pepper, simmer for about ten minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls, top with parmesan and arugula before serving.

I use my Dutch oven all the time, it’s essential in my kitchen (affiliate link).

White Bean Beer and Ham Soup3

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Thomas February 13, 2014 um 8:38 am

Having lived in Michigan (Detroit) for 63 years and now in Temecula CA I wish you save travels. However, moving to cold weather also includes few sunny days in the winter, hot humid days in the summer, and lots and lots of mosquitoes. Someone should have warned you before now. If you think the roads are bad wait till you hit a pothole and if you think the food is better, it isn’t. People though are friendly, so say hello when you walk the streets. Good luck.


Sophia @ NY Foodgasm February 13, 2014 um 10:06 am

This looks perfect for a cold day! Delicous!


Shannon February 13, 2014 um 10:42 am

Are these canned or dry beans?


Jackie February 13, 2014 um 11:40 am

Dry beans


@realmandydee February 14, 2014 um 12:02 am

I’m going to tweet this out, looks delicious!


DessertForTwo February 14, 2014 um 7:21 am

Ok, I just got caught up on your upcoming move.

As a girl who moved out of Cali, can I tell you to think twice before leaving? Cali haunts your heart. Nothing is the same without it. I was born in Texas, but lived in Cali during grad school and a few years beyond. We left 2 years ago, and I think we talk daily about how much we miss it. This is probably not helpful. I’m sorry, I’ll stop.

Your new home is going to be great. The awesome thing about leaving Cali is that people are so much more friendly and forthcoming in other places. Neighbors walk up to you in your yard and introduce themselves. It’s crazy. And nice 🙂

Long story short, I love ham and bean soup, and now you added beer? I love this.


Kammie @ Sensual Appeal February 14, 2014 um 2:17 pm

Well this is positively awesome. Such a great idea for adding beer… totally gonna try that next time!


Paula – bell’alimento February 14, 2014 um 6:18 pm

Your recipe sounds amazing! This soup is a winner!


Sam February 15, 2014 um 8:18 am

This is SO good. I made it with a ham hock I had in the freezer from Christmas. Going to make it again after Easter.


Jen @ Savory Simple February 16, 2014 um 9:37 am

Moving is such a hassle, good luck with everything! I cannot wait to hang out in Seattle this fall.


Meredith February 16, 2014 um 7:24 pm

Such a great bowl of comfort food!


anne February 27, 2014 um 9:18 am

my soup is brewing now for a group coming over tonight with temps today -5 and blowing snow. i used Blue Moon for the beer, its a wheat beer which is a white ale(had to look up!). Next up is the Drunk Shrimp Diablo as the appetizer yet to make. i test out new recipes when company comes. A bit daring, but i need testers. They’re always game no matter what. ill let you know.


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