The Best Ham Bone Soup


This leftover Ham Bone Soup is our family’s favorite, loaded with vegetables and beans in the most flavorful broth. It’s hearty and healthy, and easy to make in the slow cooker or on the stove.

A bowl filled with Ham Bone soup including ham bone broth, veggies, beans and ham.

There’s no doubt this Ham Bone Soup tops my favorite comforting, hearty, healthy soup recipe. It’s my go-to for using up our leftover Easter or Christmas ham. Sometimes I’ll even go to Honey-Baked Ham just to buy one of their leftover ham bones so I can make this soup. Did you know they sell those? They are fairly inexpensive and still have quite a bit of meat left on them.

How to Make Ham Bone Soup:

Slow Cooker Method (Recommended):

  • Place the ham bone, water, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours (or overnight) or HIGH for 3.5 hours.
Ham bone in a slow cooker, covered with water and spices, next to a photo of the slow cooker with cooked ham bone broth in it.
  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove to plate. Remove some of the grease from the pad, reserving just a little in the pan. 
Cooked bacon on a plate.
  • Add the chopped onion, celery, zucchini, carrots, and potato to the pan and saute for a few minutes.
Chopped carrot, potato, celery, onion and zucchini sautéing in a skillet.
  • Remove the ham bone from the slow cooker. Remove any meat from it.  Add the chopped ham (and any pulled from the bone), sautéed veggies, cooked bacon, and the remaining ingredients to the broth in the slow cooker. Taste and add a little more of the spices, if needed. Cook on LOW for 2 more hours.
A slow cooker filled with ham bone soup.

Stovetop Method:

  • Place the ham bone, water, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic in a heavy stock pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours.
  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove to plate. Remove some of the grease from the pad, reserving just a little in the pan. 
  • Add the chopped onion, celery, zucchini, carrots, and potato to the pan and saute for a few minutes.
  • Remove the ham bone from the pot and remove any meat from it.  Add the chopped ham (and any pulled from the bone), sautéed veggies, cooked bacon, and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Taste and add a little more of the spices, if needed. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: The ham bone broth can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for for a few days or frozen for up to 3 months. Chop the veggies ahead of time and store them in in the fridge until ready to assemble the soup.

To Freeze: The leftover ham bone and ham meat can be frozen for several months. The assembled soup can also be frozen, once cooled, for up to 3 months, stored in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm on the stove or in the slow cooker on low heat.

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A bowl filled with Ham Bone soup including ham bone broth, veggies, beans and ham.

Ham Bone Soup

This leftover Ham Bone Soup is our family’s favorite, loaded with vegetables and beans in the most flavorful broth.

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Course: Main Course, Soup

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 hours

Total Time: 10 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 203kcal

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Instructions

Slow Cooker Method (recommended):

  • Place the ham bone, water, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours (or overnight) or HIGH for 3.5 hours.

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove to plate. Remove some of the grease from the pad, reserving just a little in the pan. 

  • Add the chopped onion, celery, zucchini, carrots, and potato to the pan and saute for a few minutes.

  • Remove the ham bone from the slow cooker. Remove any meat from it. Add the chopped ham (and any pulled from the bone), sautéed veggies, cooked bacon, and the remaining ingredients to the broth in the slow cooker. Taste and add a little more of the spices, if needed. Cook on LOW for 2 more hours.

Stove Top Method:

  • Place the ham bone, water, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic in a heavy stock pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours.

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove to plate. Remove some of the grease from the pad, reserving just a little in the pan. 

  • Add the chopped onion, celery, zucchini, carrots, and potato to the pan and saute for a few minutes.

  • Remove the ham bone from the pot and remove any meat from it. Add the chopped ham (and any pulled from the bone), sautéed veggies, cooked bacon, and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Taste and add a little more of the spices, if needed. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: The ham bone broth can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for for a few days or frozen for up to 3 months. Chop the veggies ahead of time and store them in in the fridge until ready to assemble the soup. Freezing Instructions: The leftover ham bone and ham meat can be frozen for several months. The assembled soup can also be frozen, once cooled, for up to 3 months, stored in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm on the stove or in the slow cooker on low heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 429mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3560IU | Vitamin C: 11.7mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.9mg

 
Have you tried this recipe?!

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I originally shared this recipe February 2018. Updated April 2021 with new photos, a video and improved instructions.



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