Leftover Hambone Soup

You can use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

Leftover Hambone Soup - Use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

For those of you who made a ham for Christmas yesterday, I highly suggest saving the bone so you can make this ultimate hambone soup. I first made this soup two years ago and I was so amazed as to how you could actually use the hambone! In the previous years, I would toss them in the trash but the leftover hambone is actually a gold mine.

Leftover Hambone Soup - Use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

Leftover Hambone Soup - Use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

Leftover Hambone Soup - Use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

Leftover Hambone Soup - Use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

With a simple homemade ham stock, you could create such a cozy, hearty soup with ingredients you already have on hand. Once you let the flavors meld together, this soup is wonderfully sweet and comforting with chunks of ham in every bite! It’s the perfect leftover soup without letting the bone go to waste. And this is sure to be a hit with the entire family. My 3-yr old nephew devoured this for lunch at school!

Leftover Hambone Soup - Use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!

Leftover Hambone Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour

Total Time 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield 6 servings

Leftover Hambone Soup

You can use up your leftover hambone to make this cozy, hearty soup loaded with tons of veggies and chunks of sweet ham!


  • 1 leftover hambone
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover diced ham


  • Place leftover hambone in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and add enough water to cover the bone halfway, about 6-7 cups. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until very fragrant, about 30 minutes to 1 hour; remove and discard hambone.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in ham stock, beans, corn, thyme and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in ham until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.


        • Chung-Ah says

          Feel free to omit the beans. There’s a ton of other goodies in this soup. Although I should tell you that I don’t really care for kidney beans either but loved it in this soup!

        • Lynne Feeney says

          Simple, healthy & yum – my favorite combo! I omitted the beans (didn’t have them in stock) and just added a little extra potato, carrot & celery. We had extra ham slices as well so I cut and added more ham. Family of four said it was delicious. Served with corn bread muffins and my 6 & 9 year olds devoured it. Plenty for another few lunches (in the fridge) and another entire meal (freezer). Thanks for sharing. This will be a post holiday /midwest winter staple indeed!

          • Lynne Feeney says

            One more thing…I sautéed the chopped onions, carrots and celery in olive oil and garlic (about 6 garlic pieces) before adding to ham bone stock.

  1. McRae Hogan says

    This looks delicious! In the picture, it looks like you have angel hair or spaghetti noodles – when do you add those?

    • Chung-Ah says

      I think you might be referring to the corn. I actually didn’t add any angel hair or spaghetti noodles to this soup but feel free to add them to taste!

    • Chung-Ah says

      You can omit the can of diced tomatoes and use cannellini beans instead of kidney. However, it will not be a complete white soup unless milk or cream is added, which may completely change the taste of this soup.

        • Amy says

          made me do a double take, cause I didn’t either and it said white beans anyway, not red. I made this soup the day after Christmas with my leftover ham bone and I’m making it again today since I’m already craving it again. The first time I made it I didn’t have any beans but it was delicious without it. I am using light red kidney beans this time. I think it will be yummy!

    • Chung-Ah says

      This recipe is an updated recipe from the archives. I have tweaked the recipe a bit and have omitted the diced tomatoes this time around. But you can by all means add 1 can of diced tomatoes to the soup when adding the diced ham.

  2. says

    There was a time when I would read a recipe like this and be frustrated that I did not have a ham bone but then one day a couple of years ago I had an epiphany. Honey Baked Ham sells sandwiches; wonder what they do with those ham bones?

    A quick phone call and I discovered that they do indeed sell those bones; loaded with meat too. Which means that despite not having ham yesterday I can still make this soup today! YES!!

    • Chung-Ah says

      I can’t believe they sell the bones! I’m so glad you told me because I honestly can’t wait to just make this soup once a year during this time of year!

  3. says

    Love this recipe! I’m not usually a big fan of ham, but this recipe has so many vegetables with the ham and looks so hearty. It sounds delicious to me! Thanks for sharing such a great idea on using that leftover ham bone and ham!

  4. says

    Just found your blog by searching for what to do with the amazing ham bone i have!

    Love your blog, btw…..

    Off to make this……it looks so dang good!!

    • Amy says

      that’s how I found it too. I know my mom never wasted a ham bone and I had no idea what to do to make soup with it but this was awesome!!

  5. Patricia Holmes says

    I added the drippings from the cooking of the ham to the stock. I let them cool in the fridge overnight and pulled off the fat that rose to the top. mmm.. tasty recipe.

    • Chung-Ah says

      Kathleen, I have never made this in a slow cooker so unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure if this can be made in the crockpot.

      • Amy says

        I actually made it in the crock pot. I just let the hambone in the crock pot with water overnight and then found this recipe the next day and moved forward, just adding it all to the crock pot. It worked wonderful!

    • Jennifer says

      Jackie, I’d like to say I feel bad for your weather related woes but…. It’s -17 without the wind chill right now in NY. So I’ll trade with you! I’m pulling everything I can find from my pantry that can go in this soup (I have a ham bone but no carrots and no beans) because this sounds great and I’m not leaving the house.

  6. Mary says

    Wonderful, fragrant and filling soup! Just made this and my house smells wonderful. I had fresh dill on hand and added a generous amount to the pot. Made a huge pot and kids loved it. I will freeze some as well. Thanks! (I used to throw out my ham bone – NEVER again!!!)
    : 0 )

    • Chung-Ah says

      Yes, the “white kidney beans” refer to canned beans. Be sure to drain and rinse before adding to the soup. Hope that helps!

  7. Carol says

    Hi Chung-Ah-I wanted to let you know I made your soup recipe last night using a leftover ham bone and from Christmas. Oh my goodness, is it ever delicious! I made it last night and refrigerated it overnight. The fat rose to the top of the stock and was easily scooped off. Had a bowl for lunch on this rainy day-this is gonna be great for lunches this week.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. :)

  8. Robin Hinnant says

    Hey…do you think a can of black-eyed peas would work instead of the kidney beans? I was thinking it would be a good New Year’s Day soup to do that and throw in a little spinach at the end for prosperity in the New Year! :)

  9. Sylvia says

    Thanks for the inspiration, I will be making this today. One comment about freezing: In my experience potatoes and carrots get weird when I freeze them unless they are pureed/mashed. So I either do that with those ingredients if I know I am going to freeze the item, or I omit those two items and add to the thawed dish before serving. Carrots are easy to add to a dish because I don’t mind them barely cooked. What I do is chop them fine then toss them into the cold dish before I reheat. I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but they are also easy to quickly cook up to add to anything if you really want them – it only takes minutes to cook diced potatoes in a glass measuring cup in the microwave(covered with plastic wrap, couple of tablespoons of water too).
    Thanks again.
    Cheers, and Happy New Year.

  10. melanie says

    I dont have a pot wide enough for the ham bone to lie down in. if I stand it up in a tall pot do I just add more water to try to cover it halfway up?

  11. Lisa says

    Just finished getting it all into dutch oven, took a taste and it tastes really nice, bet it will be even better once veggies meld

  12. Mindy Pabst says

    I didn’t have any white beans so I used black beans. Also I replaced the potatoes with garbanzo beans. It turned out great. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Yvonne says

    My family and I just finished eating this soup for lunch with cornbread. It is the best soup I’ve ever made according to my husband. The aroma carried through the whole house. My 17 year old son just came and stood by the stove to breath in the flavorful scent. I followed the recipe as is, but added sliced onions and sofrito, a Spanish seasoning. I also added leftover ham from Christmas along with its drippings. I am so glad to come across your blog and recipe. I look forward to making it again.

    • Chung-Ah says

      I’m so glad you had a chance to make this! And serving alongside cornbread is genius. I will definitely have to do that next time!

  14. Grimsby Bruce says

    This is an excellent recipe, very easy to follow, and the pictures are beautiful. Thank you! My soup is simmering on the stove right now – smells delicious!

  15. susan says

    Added a bam…broath was kinda lame so I added chopped tomatoes and a small jar of spag sauce….alittle more spices…..and it was the bomb…needs a kick..def…came out sooooo gooood!!!

  16. Gina says

    Thanks for this recipe! Google led me to this recipe, trying to see what I can do with my leftover ham bone!

    Do you think I can use the pressure cooker to boil the leftover ham?

  17. Rhonda O'Donovan says

    Had plenty of ham left over from new years dinner that I made both the ham bone soup and ham potatoe chowder. Both are amazing! Thank you for the tastey ideas, but I need to freeze one. Whitch do you think woyld hold up better in the freezer?

    • Chung-Ah says

      I’m so glad you had a chance to try both! I would freeze the ham bone soup since the chowder is thick and the consistency may be affected.

  18. Mama says

    My husband is a red seal chef , he’s amazing at soups therefore he is usually the only one who makes them . He has his own cookbooks basically just soups and thought , nope not gunna look through them ill try “Google”
    I stumbled across this one and I’m super stoked to try it .
    Myself Im adding small amount of cooked beet greens and and cooked angel hair pasta to the bottom of the bowl just before serving and garnish with very fine chopped green onion.

  19. Nancy says

    I made this yesterday night, and the hubby really likes it! I sub pinto beans for the kidney beans since I had a ton of those. Everything else was the same.

    • Chung-Ah says

      Unfortunately, as I am not a registered dietician, I am not comfortable sharing nutritional information of my recipes. Please use online resources to obtain such information.

  20. cindy says

    Well, I had a boneless ham to use but no ham bone. I had some salt port in the freezer so I just lightly sautéed it for few minutes and add the same amount of water to the package of salt port and simmered it with an onion for about an hour. The soup was still absolutely delicious. I did add about a cup of milk thickened with heaping tablespoon of flour toward the end to thicken it up a little and make it more of a “white” soup. This was hardy and incorporated different flavor than we typically eat so was a nice change. I did add a little hot sauce and cumin toward the end and a dollop of sour cream on top. Thanks for delicious recipe!

  21. Michele says

    It never fails to amaze me how people don’t know how useful bones are in the kitchen (and unfortunately it doesn’t help that the bones are often removed from the meat before selling.) Yes, the ham bone is excellent for soup. The carcass of a roast chicken can be stewed (I use a crockpot) to make a good base for soup, as well. I scour the meat departments for beef bones and I’ve read that many chefs save the bones from fish for stock. Bits and pieces left from chopping vegetables? Vegetable stock for vegetable soup. Waste not, WANT not.

  22. John says

    I tried this today and it was fantastic! It was comforting, complex and hearty. It made good use of a ham bone I had left over.

    I saw an earlier comment about making this in a crockpot; this is how I prepared this and am very pleased with the results. I cooked the ham bone on high for two hours and then tossed in the remaining ingredients for an additional six hours. I used Great Northern rather than white kidney beans because that was what I had on hand. I was pleased with their smooth and buttery texture in this dish.

    Served with skillet cornbread, this was an excellent dish for a cold, wintry night.

  23. Marie says

    I am a greatgreat-grand mom, I make”bone soup” all winter long, my grand kids and great grands. Always want some. I never use recipes just through whatever in the pot,it always comes out wonderful? I do look at recipes just to get new ideas, then I go from there. )love this recipe, it sounds wonderful.

  24. Ann says

    I just wanted to add a tip for those whose hams and Christmases occur in summer. I freeze my ham bone (as long as it hasn’t been hanging around in the fridge very long) until it’s cool enough for soup weather. You can then make and freeze your soup. It turned out great this year but I would love to have tried your recipe instead.

  25. Terri says

    ….And I thought you could only make pea soup with leftover ham bone! Will try this tonight and let you know how it turns out. Thank you for this wonderful sounding recipe!!

  26. James says

    I suspect you will be getting a lot hits to this page after Easter. We had our dinner a week early and cooked this recipe (w/tomatoes & wo/beans). It was simple and plain, but it was very good. I hope I have some Italian Parsley to serve with this next time.

  27. Haley says

    I had ankle surgery last week and am out of commission in the kitchen for the next month or so. Your soup was the first recipe I had my husband make me, and although he’s not too much of a cook, it turned out perfectly! Thank you for sharing!

  28. Honey Badger says

    I ran across this recipe via google since we just had a ham for Easter. I have pretty much kept with your recipe. It is simmering right now. Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the good work.

  29. Jeff says

    Started with your recipe but didn’t have carrots or beans, so used a few more potatoes (small reds), some baby bell peppers and mushrooms. I then saw the post on the angel hair pasta and remembered I had some roasted spaghetti squash left in fridge and added about 2 cups. Boy, did this soup hit the mark! Can’t wait for the next holiday ham.

  30. Diana says

    I found your recipe because I had a leftover ham bone and remembered that when I was a kid my dad used to make a soup with ham and kidney beans that I loved. I added cabbage because I had some in the fridge, and a cup of barley. I omitted the corn. It was delicious. BTW, my dad first had this soup when he was a young man in Korea working with the US Army right after the war. He got to eat in the Army’s canteen and that was his introduction to American food. He came to the states knowing how to make several American dishes… most of which involved spam or ham :)

  31. Wynne Edwards says

    I’ve read all the comments, seen all the substitute beans, was hoping someone would say they tried chick peas. The only can in my pantry, other than peaches.

  32. Michelle says

    I thought I knew every soup out there and was racking my brain what I could make with left over ham. This was SO AWESOME!!! Even my 8 and 5 year old boys loved this soup! This is a keeper! I had already simmered the leftover bone/ham in my slow cooker and de-boned. Used chicken broth to boil the carrots and potato, then added the diced up ham, corn, and beans. This was perfect for our North Country rainy spring day! Thank you so much!

  33. Lauren says

    Damn this is delicious! I never made anything like this before and it exceeded any expectations. I bought a ham steak and cubed that up and threw it in at the end since my ham bone wasn’t terribly meaty. Probably because i made the ham stock and then i reboiled the bone to make more for the soup. I made the stock the night before so i could skim off the fat. Thanks for the recipe!


  34. Keith says

    Dear Chungah

    Just made this ham bone soup for lunch and it is fantastic. I used fresh thyme, carrots and potatoes from our garden. The ham bone was cooked a little longer in a slow cooker and the sauteed vegetables and herbs were added to the pot for an hour. Perfect!

    Thanks so much


  35. Cori Pepe says

    Thank you for the delicious recipe. Google rocks! I didn’t read the “white” kidney beans, so I used the regular ones. I also had kale in the fridge so just pored the hot soup over it, and a perfect meal. Mahalo, as we say in Hawaii.

  36. Joyce Mazza says

    I make ham bone soup with white kidney beans, garlic, and chopped escarole. Of course , I also season with salt and pepper to taste. I add a hand full of small pasta shells and grated cheese during the last 10 minutes and let it sit for about 20 minutes before serving . I put a Crustini in the bottom of the soup bowl, add the soup and the final addition is a drizzle of olive oil (if desired) My family loves this soup.

  37. Melinda says

    I look forward to trying this recipe! I’ve never made a ham and bean soup, but I love to eat it. I will be cooking this for a large crowd. To double or triple the recipe, do I use multiple ham bones or use the one bone, add more water, and simmer longer to make more broth base?

  38. Larry says

    we had a bone in ham for thanksgiving and want to make soup the thing is we left the bone in a plastic bag in the fridge not the freezer can we still make the soup or is the bone no good

  39. says

    I just made soup over past couple of days using the ham bone left over from thanksgiving that had been sitting in a plastic bags the fridge Turned out beautifully & I used baby butter beans (10oz bag dried) instead & threw in some sweet potato (yam) too!

  40. Rebecca says

    I made this soup today for supper using the ham bone left over from lunch. I didn’t have kidney beans. Instead, I used navy beans. The soup is fabulous. My seven-year-old daughter ate two bowls full. We’ll make this again. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  41. kelly says

    I LOVE your blog and your food. You can cook lady!! Your site is my go to site for anything Im looking for. I did this one tonight, from yesterdays Christmas ham and it may have been the best soup I have ever made//tried!! WOW

  42. Peg says

    So glad I found your recipe.Sounds great! Put the bone in the freezer Christmas night and so ready for this now. Happy New Year Everyone!

  43. victor says

    A friend gave me a half of ham with bone and i had to find something to do with it, I am trying your recipe mainly because i think your pretty and i have a ham bone, the recipe looks good and so do you, i am cooking it now smells so good thanks

  44. Liz says

    Made this with leftover ham from Christmas and it is amazing! It’s so simple but it’s great. I made the broth in a crock pot last night (ham bone with a little meat left, 7 cups of water, 2 bay leaves, 4 whole cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and about 20 whole peppercorns, cooked on low for 7 hours… did not skim fat) and then made it today. So quick and simple! Only substitution was northern beans for kidney beans because I read the recipe wrong. This will be my go to recipe for day after Christmas from now on! Thanks for helping me start a new tradition.

  45. Joe says

    Great recipe. I used sweet potatoes instead of carrots, dried herbs, and spiced it up a bit with my freshly ground hot peppers. No salt needed as the ham was salty enough. I think next time I will double the beans. Needless to say,DELICIOUS!..
    Thanks for the great recipe and website. I will be coming back for more as I like what I have seen thus far. Keep the recipes coming

  46. Liz says

    Really excellent recipe! Looks like I’m with the group who had a leftover ham bone this holiday and googled up “Ham Bone Soup”. I’ve started to look around your site and see some other great looking recipes too – I suspect I’ll end up being a frequent re-creator of your concoctions! Great work!

  47. Paige says

    Had the ham bone from Christmas. Love your recipes. Followed almost exactly. I’ve never used a ham bone and didn’t know what to leave on it. Mostly “skinned” like your photo but in making the broth, I got nervous in the reduction amount. Added chocked stock. Anyway, I have 4 precise eaters(my husband and 3 girls). Two don’t like ham, two don’t like beans. I made this with some extra of the veggies (because I was wrong about the broth). All loved it. Melted to their knees good!!

  48. Mary says

    Very tasty recipe! Thank you. My husband doesn’t like peas, so I had to search for a recipe other then split pea to use with my Honeybaked Ham bone. He also likes thicker soups, so here is what I did: I used 2 potatoes, 4 carrots, one heaping cup of corn, and I added fresh parsley at the end. I didn’t salt it too much because of the ham and because I added oyster crackers before serving. The extra potatoes and the crackers increased the thickness without my having to emulsify the soup. Next time, I will add peas for the rest of my family. Since the ham was pricey, I felt like this recipe allowed me to get more of my money’s worth!

  49. Erin says

    So delicious! I cooked the hambone in the crock pot using this recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/ham-broth-slow-cooker-508820 since it used similar ingredients as this recipe. I used 10 cups of the ham stock for the soup and also added leeks to the recipe. I didn’t have enough ham from the bone to fill up the soup so I bought a Farmer John ham steak and just cubed that up in to the pot. I also made gluten-free corn bread to go with it. Very good soup and very filling!

  50. Chris says

    Great recipe, very tasty!

    Only tweak I made was to add a dash of red pepper and a bit of smoked paprika to bring out the natural ham flavor. I also did increase the beans to a full can and increased the ham as others suggested.

    Will make it again for sure.

  51. Shannon says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It worked great for leftover ham and my husband really enjoyed it! I substituted cooked parsnips for the beans and served it topped with cheddar cheese. I liked the suggestion of serving with cornbread, so I served it with corn pudding and biscuits.

  52. Lori says

    Thanks for the recipe! I was looking to use a hambone for something for the first time and this was perfect. I’ll admit, I tweaked it a bit to accomodate my own tastes and preferences, but it worked perfectly and I was very pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. Its always a huge plus when its received well by my troops too…a 12 year old son, a 6 year old son, and a meat-and-potato loving husband. We all enjoyed your soup tonite, on this snowy and cold nite in the Philly area!

  53. says

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe!!!! Great soup for cold winter nights and family game night. I added fire roasted tomatoes for some extra kick.

    Thanks again

  54. Willa says

    Fantastic. Just made it. Tweaked a bit by adding coconut milk, dumplings and local herb pepper. Also substituted chive for onion. Best soup I ever made. Thanks!

  55. says

    Great recipe, I made this for the hubs as I don’t eat ham. The broth looked a little thin so I made a quick rue with a bit of paprika added to it. I added some celery tops to my broth and put some chopped celery ribs into the soup. I’ll definitely keep this recipe for ham bones down the road.

  56. mo says

    I found this labeled 27 crockpot recipes #16.. If I want to make it in the crock how long and do I use low or high?
    Also do the potatoes dissolve if the are on a long time.
    I do use a ham bone for Canadian Style pea soup (Yellow Split peas) but haven’t experimented with potatoes!

  57. gina says

    wow this was great made it twice! I made a few addition by adding three tbls of unsalted butter and added a can of diced tomato and two tbls of sour cream. I used frozen green beans in place of the corn. So good! Will be trying more recipes froM YOU!

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