Ham and Potato Soup

VideoSoupFavorite WinterComfort FoodHamPotato

This hearty Ham and Potato Soup is made with a ham shank or leftover ham bone and russet potatoes. Perfect for chilly weather!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Is there anything better on a cold winter day than a big bowl of hearty ham and potato soup?

True, there is some close competition from white bean and ham soup. Come to think about it, they’re both great!

VIDEO! Ham and Potato Soup

Use a Ham Shank or Leftover Ham

This recipe is for soup made with ham and potato. You can use either a leftover ham bone and some ham from a glazed ham, or you can use a meaty ham shank.

You could even use a ham hock, but the hocks aren’t as meaty as the shanks, so if you use hocks, you’ll likely need extra ham.

The Best Potatoes for This Soup

For this recipe, I’m using Russet potatoes. They become soft and creamy during cooking, absorbing all the wonderful flavors in the broth. Russets are also really starchy, which helps thicken the soup.

For firmer, chunkier cubes of potato that hold their shape during cooking, you can swap the Russets for the same amount of red-skinned potatoes or Yukon golds.

Save Time by Using Chicken Stock

I’m using chicken stock for this soup, along with the broth that the ham bone or shank naturally creates while it cooks. I’m doing this to save time.

If you want to make the soup entirely with the broth that comes from a leftover ham bone, you can easily do that. Just cover the ham bone with water and pot, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for an hour before starting the recipe.

You could probably also just put the bone in a slow cooker with some water overnight to make some ham stock.

Whether you use chicken stock or not, both methods work fine, you’ll save an hour if you use chicken stock, and you will likely need to add less salt.

Ham and Potato Soup

Salt to Taste

Speaking of salt! Potatoes need more than a little salt to taste good. Ham has plenty of sodium. So, good match right?

Yes, this is one of the reasons they taste so good together. But you do need to taste and adjust for salt, every time. If the soup seems bland, add salt until it is no longer bland. If the soup is too salty for you, add more potatoes.

Want More Cozy Winter Soups?

Ham and Potato Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

You can either make this soup using leftover ham and a ham bone or you can use a meaty ham shank. If you use a ham bone, you'll add the chopped ham at the end of cooking. If you are using a ham shank, after the soup cooks with the ham shank, you'll need to remove it, cut away the meat, chop the meat, and return it to the soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsnips or carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 meaty ham bone from a ham, or a meaty ham shank
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed ham (if using a ham bone), 3/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Salt to taste

Method

1 Cook onions, parsnips or carrots, celery, garlic in olive oil: Heat olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot or Dutch oven on medium high heat.

Add the onions, parsnips or carrots, celery, and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

2 Add ham bone or shank, stock, bay leaves, thyme: Add the ham bone or ham shank to the pot. Add 6 cups of stock. Add bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

3 Add potatoes: Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 more minutes, until they are cooked through.

4 Remove ham bone or shank, purée half the soup: Remove the ham bone or ham shank from the soup. Purée half of the soup so that some of the potatoes get puréed to give the soup body, and there are still whole chunks of potatoes for texture.

5 Add chopped ham: If using a ham shank, cut away the meat and chop into 3/4-inch cubes. Add the chopped ham and black pepper to the soup.

6 Stir in the cream. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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44 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lan

    Yummy and great way to use a ham bone!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Kathleen

    So ridiculously good! I use the instapot to pressure cook the ham bone to make the stock. Then I removed the stock and sautéed the veggies. Added the stock and potatoes and boiled it with the lid off for about half hour. Then used an emulsion blender to make it just creamy enough but left lots of chunks of potatoes. Added ham and cream and let simmer for a few before serving. One of my all time favorite soups!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Angie

    Is this ok to make ahead of time I was thinking it would be an all day dinner recipe like slot of soups so I started it in an but my hubby isn’t home until evening should I just wait to add tatoes til later so they don’t all mush or just make as directed and he can heat up

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Karisa

    One of my favorite soups. I’ve made it quite a few times. I wonder, could I use my leftover Christmas mashed potatoes in this soup instead of chopping more potatoes?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Bernice

    Oh, that was delicious. Will be making it again for sure!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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