Big Batch White Bean and Ham Soup

White Bean and Ham Soup
Paul Poplis/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 100 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
166 Calories
4g Fat
20g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 100
Amount per serving
Calories 166
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 502mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 505mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cooking for a crowd can be an extremely difficult task, particularly for the home cook with an average-sized kitchen. Though some meals are simply best left to the professional caterers, there are those times when there is nothing better than a home-cooked dish. Perhaps it's for a family reunion potluck or an office party or a school picnic. Whatever the occasion (when it's not all about the baked goods and sweets), here's a delicious white bean soup recipe that can easily feed a crowd–and then some. 

The recipe makes about 100 servings, so you can easily cut the recipe in half or make enough to have freezable leftovers when all you want is a warm bowl of homemade soup without the hassle. Rather than using canned white beans, this recipe calls for dried beans. But rather than requiring an overnight soak, the recipe instructions step you through a version of the hot soak method of preparing dried beans, which not only reduces the total cooking time​ but also produces tender beans. Then ham bones provide a wealth of rich flavor to the beans.


  • 6 pounds dry white beans (about 3 1/2 quarts)

  • 7 gallons ham or chicken stock

  • 8 ham bones

  • 4 1/2 cups onion (about 2 pounds, finely chopped)

  • 2 3/4 cups carrots (about 1 pound, shredded)

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 3 cups cold water

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse white beans in a strainer under cool water, being sure to discard any discolored or damaged beans.

  2. Place rinsed beans in a large kettle with stock and ham bones; bring to a boil.

  3. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for two to three hours or until the beans are tender.

  4. While beans are simmering, prepare the onion and carrots.

  5. After two to three hours of simmering, stir the onion, carrots, and pepper into the beans. Cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

    Fish out the ham bones and set them aside to cool slightly.

  6. Combine cold water and flour in a separate bowl until smooth and then gradually stir into soup until thickened.

  7. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more water until you've reached your desired consistency.

    If the ham bones were meaty, pull the meat off them and stir into the soup.

    Recipe Source: Jene Cain, Northridge, California. This recipe came to us from Jene Cain from Northridge, CA who obviously has some experience cooking for a crowd. Reprinted with permission.