The Best Ham Bone Potato Soup

You’ll love the flavors of our Ham Bone Potato Soup. So, hopefully you remembered to stash away your leftover hambone in the freezer. If you did not, you may have to go buy one. Don’t worry, this soup will still be just as delicious.

There are very few soup that elicit warmth and satisfaction quite like Ham Bone Potato Soup. Imagine a chilly evening, with the aroma of simmering soup wafting through the air, a scene reminiscent of cherished family gatherings and cozy Sunday suppers.

This article is your guide to not just a recipe but a culinary journey through history, tradition, and the joy of preparing and savoring this classic.

So, let’s talk Ham Bone Potato Soup!

The Heart of Ham Bone Potato Soup

large hambone cooking in a red pot

Ham Bone: Or even a smoked ham hock is what provides the base for the soup, it also gives it a lot of flavor. So, be sure to save all future bones from your ham or spiral ham in the freezer!

One of the most iconic forms of comfort food is soup. As a nourishing and wholesome meal, it carries with it the promise of renewal and revitalization. From steaming bowls of chicken noodle soup that nurse colds to hearty chowders that fill our bellies and hearts, soup has a way of healing and comfort that’s truly unparalleled.

Amid the variety of soups, Ham Bone Potato Soup emerges as a prime example of comfort food. Its roots run deep in tradition and heritage, making it a cherished dish across generations.

The appeal of Ham Bone Potato Soup lies not just in its delicious simplicity but in the stories and memories it embodies. It’s the aroma that envelops the kitchen, as well as the hearty flavor that warms the palate.

The Ingredients for Hambone Potato Soup

Before we start creating Ham Bone Potato Soup, it’s essential to gather the key ingredients. Each one plays a crucial role in composing this heartwarming dish. Here is a detailed list, including quantities, of what you’ll need:

  • 1 meaty ham bone, preferably with some meat left on it
  • 10 cups water (or broth if using leftover to start with)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen green peas (optional)
  • 1 cup of corn kernels (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Choose High-quality Ingredients

Choosing high-quality ingredients is the cornerstone of crafting an exceptional Ham Bone Potato Soup. The ham bone should be meaty and flavorful, as it forms the base of the soup’s taste. Choose fresh, firm vegetables to infuse the soup with their natural sweetness and texture.

The high-quality broth is essential for depth of flavor; whether you choose chicken or vegetable broth, look for one without excessive sodium or artificial additives.

The Cooking Process

Meat and stock for hambone soup in red soup pot

Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to start the Ham Bone Potato Soup. This step-by-step guide will ensure that you create a hearty, flavorful, and comforting dish:

Prepare the Ham Bone

  • Start by placing the meaty ham bone in a large soup pot. If it has any visible fat, trim it.
  • Add the chicken or vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Sauté the Aromatics: In a separate pan, heat a little oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté until they become tender and fragrant.
  • Add the Vegetables: Add the diced potatoes to the simmering ham broth. Allow them to soften slightly.
  • Combine and Simmer: Transfer the sautéed vegetables to the large soup pot with the ham bone and potatoes. Continue to simmer 30 minutes.
  • Season to Perfection: Carefully remove the ham bone and bay leaf from the pot. Shred any meat left on the ham bone and return it to the soup. At this time add the milk or cream

Tips for Success

Creating the perfect Ham Bone Potato Soup is a delightful culinary adventure, and here are some tips to ensure your journey is a successful and delicious one:

  • Choose the Right Ham Bone: Choose a meaty ham bone with a good amount of meat left on it. This will impart robust flavor to your soup. Be patience and simmer the soup on low heat for the best results. This allows the flavors to meld, creating a deeply satisfying broth.
  • Skim Excess Fat: As your soup simmers, periodically skim off any excess fat that rises to the surface. This helps keep the soup from becoming overly greasy.
  • Season Thoughtfully: Go easy on the salt until the end. The ham bone and broth already contain some salt, so taste and adjust the seasoning only after removing the bone.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Overcooking: Be cautious not to overcook the potatoes. They should be tender but not mushy.
  • Rushing the Process: Resist the temptation to rush the simmering stage.
  • Inadequate Skimming: Please remove excess fat to avoid a greasy soup. Take the time to skim it off.

Serving and Presentation

Serving Ham Bone Potato Soup isn’t just about scooping it into a bowl; it’s an opportunity to elevate the dining experience. Here’s how to present this comforting classic with flair:

  • Use Appropriate Bowls: Choose warm, inviting bowls that complement the rustic charm of the soup. Earthy tones or classic white work beautifully.
  • Garnish with Freshness: A sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives adds a vibrant touch. A dollop of sour cream or a swirl of heavy cream can enhance both flavor and presentation.
  • Add Texture: Serve the soup with a side of crusty bread or warm rolls. The contrast in texture between the creamy soup and the crunch of bread is delightful.
  • Family-style: Consider serving in a large, communal bowl for a family gathering. Allow everyone to help themselves for a cozy, shared experience.

By paying attention to these presentation details, you’ll not only make your Ham Bone Potato Soup visually appealing but also elevate the overall dining experience, turning a simple soup into a memorable and heartwarming meal.

Variations and Customizations

Hambone Potato Soup is a canvas for culinary creativity. Here are ways to personalize this classic recipe, making it your own:

  • Vegetarian Twist: For a vegetarian version, use a meatless ham bone substitute or skip the ham altogether. Enhance the umami by adding smoked paprika or a splash of liquid smoke.
  • Flavorful Additions: Get inventive with ingredient additions. Try adding corn, green beans, or even diced tomatoes for extra color and texture. For a touch of sweetness, toss in a handful of frozen peas.
  • Spice It Up: Customize the flavor with spices. A pinch of cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, or a dash of Worcestershire sauce can introduce exciting new dimensions.
  • Creamy Elegance: Elevate the soup by finishing it with a swirl of heavy cream or a spoonful of sour cream for added richness.
  • Cheese Lovers: Melt some cheddar or Swiss cheese into the soup for a cheesy twist. Top with crispy bacon bits or croutons for added texture.
  • Fresh Herbs: Experiment with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or dill. Add them during cooking for an infusion of herbal aromatics.
A bowl of hambone potato soup served in white soup bowl

Ham Bone Potato Soup in Modern Cuisine

In today’s ever-evolving culinary landscape, Ham Bone Potato Soup stands as a timeless classic that continues to capture the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts. Despite the constant emergence of new and trendy dishes, this cherished soup maintains its popularity for several compelling reasons.

  • Enduring Appeal: Ham Bone Potato Soup endures because it strikes a harmonious balance between simplicity and flavor. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of comfort food. The rustic charm of this dish connects us to the past while offering a sense of security and nostalgia in the present.
  • Restaurant Reverence: Many restaurants, both upscale and casual, have embraced Ham Bone Potato Soup as a beloved comfort food option on their menus. Its widespread presence allows diners to experience a taste of home, even when dining out.
  • Food Blog Creations: In the digital age, food bloggers have taken the basic recipe and introduced innovative twists. You’ll find variations incorporating exotic ingredients, regional influences, and diverse flavor profiles, offering a wide array of experiences for adventurous home cooks.
  • Modern Variations: Modern adaptations of Ham Bone Potato Soup include gluten-free and dairy-free versions, catering to various dietary preferences. Some creative renditions even use sweet potatoes or a blend of root vegetables to add a touch of sweetness.

As it gracefully weaves its way through contemporary cuisine, Ham Bone Potato Soup reminds us that the most cherished dishes are those that stand the test of time. Its enduring popularity underscores the universal human desire for comfort, tradition, and the connection that food brings to our lives.


Ham Bone Potato Soup is a testament to the enduring magic of comfort food. This timeless classic brings generations together around a shared bowl of nostalgia.

Its enduring appeal lies in the simplicity of its ingredients and the depth of the comfort it provides. It’s a reminder that food isn’t just sustenance; it’s a bridge to our fondest memories. Now, in the spirit of tradition and togetherness, I encourage you to try this beloved recipe for yourself!

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you think!

Happy cooking and bon appétit!

bowl of hambone potato soup

Best Hambone and Potato Soup

Explore the Comfort and Flavor of Hambone Potato Soup Recipe. Few recipes elicit warmth and satisfaction quite like our Hambone Potato Soup Recipe.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 stockpot


  • 1 meaty hambone
  • 11/2 cup cooked ham from hambone
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 4 large potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 cloves garlic minced finely
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons chicken Bouillon
  • 2 cups whole milk or 1 cup cream
  • 1 pinch of salt adjust to you taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans


  • Place the ham bone in a stock pot filled with enough water to cover the bone and more.
  • Add the bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and let it simmer for about 1 hour. This is where the magic begins, as the ham bone infuses the broth with its rich, smoky flavors.
  • After one hour, remove ham meat from ham bone. Set aside.
  • In a separate pan, add the garlic and vegetables with a little oil and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add diced potatoes and sauté another 30 seconds
  • Now put all sautéed vegetable and ham meat into the broth in the stockpot.
  • Mix the flour, bouillon, and milk together.
  • Stir this into the stockpot. Add the canned beans and simmer soup until potatoes are 'just' fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
    Note: If your soup is too thick once it's finished, simply add more milk in 1/4 cup increments until reaching your desired consistency.
  • Serve warm.


Nutrition Information
Calories: 189 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 574mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4070IU | Vitamin C: 13.3mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3.6mg
Keyword hambone potato soup, soup

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