Ham Bone Soup

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What to do with that leftover ham bone after the holidays? In our house, a leftover ham bone means one thing: a giant stockpot of ham bone soup!

A delicious way to use up a leftover ham bone, this ham and bean soup is filling, comforting and uses classic pantry staples for an inexpensive meal that can serve a crowd.

Ham Bone Soup Recipe

Ham Bone Soup is a French Canadian staple that I took for granted as a teenager living in the Great White North.

Almost every diner had it on the menu and that salty, umami bowl of broth, beans and veggies was such a comforting way to warm your bones after coming in from the frigid cold.

While it’s not exactly a pretty bowl of soup, what this soup lacks in presentation it makes up for with a delicious depth of flavor. The ham bone broth and aromatic spices infuse the beans and veggies with their salty, earthy flavor, while the rough (large) cut of the veggies allows them to retain a bit of their own flavors.

I used carrots, celery and onions because that’s what is traditional and they are basically kitchen staples, but feel free to swap them out with whichever veggies you prefer. If you’d serve it with a ham supper, it will work in this soup.

Be sure to remove as much meat as possible from the ham bone before preparing the ham bone stock, as that meat will be pretty overcooked and unusable after making the broth.

There are a couple of different ways to make ham bone soup. My method involves cooking the beans and ham bone separately, which allows you to reserve some of the ham broth for other recipes.

If you’d prefer to use less pots and cook them together, add the uncooked beans to the stockpot with the ham bone after the ham bone has been simmering for an hour.

Other Ways to Use up Leftover Ham Bone:

  • make ham stock using the method below and use to make chowders, sauces and soups (like our Ham and Corn Chowder)
  • use to make flavorful beans by adding the ham bone to the water that you cook the beans in
  • use to prepare collard greens
  • use to make congee (a delicious rice porridge recipe) – check out this Chinese Congee from Recipe Tin Eats

More Recipes for Leftover Ham

There are so many delicious ways to re-purpose leftover holiday ham into unique and flavorful meals the whole family will love. I tend to put a few slices aside for grab-and-go leftovers and then cut the rest of the ham into 1″ cubes and freeze so it’s ready to go whenever I want to use it. Here are some of our favorite leftover ham recipes:

Ham Bone Soup Ingredients

  • 2 cups beans, uncooked (or 4 cups cooked)
  • 12 cups water
  • Ham Bone
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: swap out the seasonings and veggies called for to suit your personal preferences.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

How to Make Soup with a Ham Bone

Place the beans in a stockpot and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low an simmer, covered, for 1 hour until beans are well cooked.

Meanwhile, Add the remaining 8 cups of water to a large stockpot with the ham bone.

Bring the ham bone pot to a boil over high heat and then reduce to medium-low to simmer for 2 hours.

Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside.

Place a fine mesh sieve or colander over a stockpot or large bowl and drain the ham bone stock into the stockpot, using the sieve to catch the bone and any pieces of ham.

Place clean stockpot over medium heat and add the butter or oil.

Add the chopped vegetables and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the cubed ham, thyme, bay leaves, beans, salt and pepper. Stir well.

Add the reserved ham bone stock and increase heat to medium-high.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce and simmer on medium to medium-low for 20 minutes, or until vegetables have reached your desired level of tenderness.

 

Pin this Easy Ham Bone soup for a comforting option this winter:

How to make ham bone and bean soup - the best use for leftover ham bones after the holidays. This comforting soup recipe is an inexpensive way to make the most of a few classic kitchen staples and makes a ton - perfect for big families or potlucks

Grab your free printable recipe card for our ham bone soup recipe:

Yield: 12 servings

Ham Bone Soup

Ham Bone Soup

A delicious way to use up a leftover ham bone, this ham and bean soup is filling, comforting and uses classic pantry staples for an inexpensive meal that can serve a crowd.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups beans, uncooked (or 4 cups cooked)
  • 12 cups water
  • Ham Bone
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the beans in a stockpot and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low an simmer, covered, for 1 hour until beans are well cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, Add the remaining 8 cups of water to a large stockpot with the ham bone.
  3. Bring the ham bone pot to a boil over high heat and then reduce to medium-low to simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside.
  5. Place a fine mesh sieve or colander over a stockpot or large bowl and drain the ham bone stock into the stockpot, using the sieve to catch the bone and any pieces of ham.
  6. Place clean stockpot over medium heat and add the butter or oil.
  7. Add the chopped vegetables and saute for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the cubed ham, thyme, bay leaves, beans, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  9. Add the reserved ham bone stock and increase heat to medium-high.
  10. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce and simmer on medium to medium-low for 20 minutes, or until vegetables have reached your desired level of tenderness.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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For more delicious soup recipes, check out our full collection here:

For more delicious recipes using pork, check out our full collection here:

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One Comment

  1. Tried a variety of soup until now but this was something that I have never before tried. Thank you so much for sharing this post as today I tried your way of making it and it turned out to be delicious.

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