This Ham Bone soup is an easy recipe using the leftover bone to create a rich and flavorful Ham Bone broth. This soup is then loaded up with tender potatoes, juicy bits of ham and plenty of veggies, all swimming in a luxurious homemade creamy broth.

Bowl of ham bone soup served with fresh parsley on top.

All about this ham bone soup…

  • Homemade broth: the star of the show is the broth! Made from the actual ham bone, this broth is rich and flavorful. Adding a bit of milk helps bring a creaminess to the broth that is sure to leave everyone asking for more.
  • Loaded up: this soup is thick and hearty, loaded up with bits of juicy ham, tender potatoes and lots of veggies. This is a bowl of soup that will fill you up.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed for ham bone soup laid on the counter.

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Ham Bone: use a leftover bone from a meal, or you can usually purchase bones from markets in the meat dept. (The picture above shows a store bought ham bone, while the video shows a leftover ham bone if you’re wondering.)
  • Diced ham: again, use any leftover ham that you have, or buy some ham from the market to ensure you have enough for your soup.
  • Potatoes: russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes are great options for this recipe.
  • Cornstarch: is used as a thickener.
  • Milk: makes a nice creamy broth, can sub with coconut cream if needing a dairy free option, or simply leave it out and have regular broth.

How to Make (step-by-step):

Searing the ham bone and cooking with diced carrots, celery and onion for making broth.
  • Step 1: First you want to cut off as much meat as possible. We’re going to use the ham in the soup. Don’t worry if you can’t get everything off because whatever is left on the bone will come out in the broth while it cooks. Sear the bone in hot oil in the pot.
  • Step 2: Add in the veggies and sauté to allow them to soften.
  • Step 3: Pour in the water and add bayleaves. Allow to simmer for at least 30-45 minutes. This is when the bone will develop a nice flavorful broth.
  • Step 4: Add in the chopped ham and potatoes. Let the potatoes cook in the broth and soften. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork.
  • Step 5: To thicken the soup and make it creamy add some milk mixed with cornstarch. Let this cook in the soup for several minutes to thicken.
Water added for making broth. Then diced ham and potato added to broth for cooking.
Milk being added to corn starch to make a slurry for thickening the soup.

Expert Tips:

  • Substitutions: This soup is gluten free thanks to using cornstarch as a thickener. But if you need to make it Dairy free simply substitute the milk for coconut cream.
  • Variations: add any extra vegetables you would like corn, peas, or some fresh spinach or kale would be great options. Plus you can add some white beans if desired.
  • Storage/Freezing: this soup can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If planning to freeze this soup, I would recommend not adding the milk and cornstarch, since this can cause separation when frozen and reheated. Make the soup up to the step of adding the milk and cornstarch. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then store in a freezer safe container. Store for 2-3 months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop. Once the soup is heated you can add the milk and cornstarch if desired.
Spoon ladling up ham bone soup with bits of ham, potato and veggies in a creamy broth.

FAQ’s:

How long can I store a ham bone?

Store the ham bone in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Can I make this soup in the slow cooker?

Yes. Place the ham bone and vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover with water, add the bayleaf and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Then remove the bayleaf and the bone, cut off any extra meat. Add the ham and potatoes to the broth and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. Then reduce to LOW add the milk and cornstarch and cook an additional 15 minutes to thicken.

Can a ham bone be used more than once?

No. Once the bone has been simmered for the broth, there is no flavoring left in the bone. Discard the bone.

Up close view of ham bone soup with chunks of ham, potato, veggies in a creamy broth topped with diced parsley.

More Soup Recipes:

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Bowl of ham and potato soup topped with fresh parsley.

Leftover Ham Bone Soup

This leftover ham bone soup uses the bone from your holiday ham to make a smooth and flavorful broth perfect for this ultra comforting Ham and Potato Soup. This soup involves nothing but classic ingredients including carrots, celery, onion, potatoes and diced ham all swimming in a deeply flavorful homemade creamy ham broth.
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 leftover ham bone
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots , peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks , chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 3 russet potatoes , peeled and diced
  • 1 cup whole milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

  • fresh parsley

Equipment

Instructions

  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat, add the olive oil and allow to heat. Place the hambone in the pot and sear in the oil, allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes, then turn to cook the other side.
  • Add in the diced onion, carrots and celery. Cook until softened. Then add in the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the water, add the bayleaf. Bring to a boil. Cover and allow to simmer for at least 30-40 minutes.
  • After broth has simmered, remove the ham bone from the pot, remove any meat left on the bone, and you can discard at this point.
  • Add in the chopped ham and potato. Allow to cook until the potato is soft and tender. About 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl combine the milk or cream with the cornstarch. Stir together with a fork until completely combined. Add to the soup. Stir until mixed in. Allow to simmer for another 3-4 minutes. The soup will thicken.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with fresh parsley as a garnish. Enjoy

Video

Notes

  • Ham Bone: use a leftover bone from a meal, or you can usually purchase bones from markets in the meat dept. 
  • Diced ham: use any leftover ham that you have, or buy some ham from the market to ensure you have enough for your soup.
  • Potatoes: russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes are great options for this recipe.
  • Milk: For dairy free substitute with canned coconut milk.
  • Storage/Freezing: this soup can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If planning to freeze this soup, it is recommended to NOT add the milk and cornstarch, since this can cause separation when frozen and reheated. Make the soup up to the step of adding the milk and cornstarch. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then store in a freezer safe container. Store for 2-3 months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop. Once the soup is heated you can add the milk and cornstarch if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 463mg, Potassium: 566mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 3878IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe first published December 20, 2017. Updated November 23, 2021 with new images and video. Recipe is unchanged.

Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co