Ham and Potato Soup

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

Ham and Potato Soup
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: How to Make Ham and Potato Soup


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.

Large ham bone simmering in pot of ham and potato soup
Elise Bauer

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
Elise Bauer

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

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 90 mins
Total Time 100 mins
Servings 6 servings

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, you'll need to remove it after the soup cooks. Cut away the meat, chop it, and add it back into the soup.


  • 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 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 meaty ham bone from a ham, or a meaty ham shank (see recipe note)

  • 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


  1. Cook the vegetables 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.

    Large red cooking pot full of onions, parsnips or carrots, celery for ham bone soup
    Elise Bauer
    Large ham bone simmering in pot of ham and potato soup
    Elise Bauer
  2. Add the ham bone or shank, stock, bay leaves, and 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 the 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.

    Adding Garlic to Large Pot of Ham Bone and Potato Soup
    Elise Bauer
    Stirring ham and potato soup in large red cooking pot
    Elise Bauer
  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.

    Ham bits surfacing at the top of ham bone potato soup
    Elise Bauer
  6. Stir in the cream:

    Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
349 Calories
11g Fat
45g Carbs
18g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 1031mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 21mg 105%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 1426mg 30%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.