Ham and Potato Soup

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.

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


  • 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


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.

Large red cooking pot full of onions, parsnips or carrots, celery for ham bone soup Large ham bone simmering in pot of ham and potato soup

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 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 Stirring ham and potato soup in large red cooking pot

5 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

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

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  • Marie Silfies

    Everyone loved it! I did add 2 cans of great northern beans. Do you have nutritional info on this soup. I am dieting and would like to count this on my NuMi app.


  • Jan

    2nd time making this ham and potato soup; sooo good. We use 2% milk for lower calories rather than cream , but taste is still super. Pinned several other recipes to try. Thank you!

  • JoeW

    Made this last night.

    One of the best soups that I’ve ever had.

    I bought what Safeway termed “Smoked Pork Femur”. There were 2. Basically, a pork bone, no meat at all.
    I covered them with 8 cups of water, and simmered for about 3 hours, adding the bay leaves and thyme for the last hour.
    The result was about 5 cups of ham stock, which I augmented with chicken stock to make the recipe’s 6 cups. The ham stock was borderline “too salty”, but that was tempered by the cream that was added at the end.
    For meat, I bought some kurobuta ham, which is rather lightly salted and not very smoky.
    I then added the stock to the sauteed veggies from step one, and continued the recipe from step three.

    (Wow, that was a long comment. Sorry about that.)

  • Amanda

    I’ve made this soup before and it’s delicious. This time, I’m grappling with the instructions for some reason. I have a ham bone and want to make stock from it. Could you confirm that I’m first to simmer the ham bone (only) for an hour. Then in a different pot I do Step #1 and then Step #2 using the bone and the broth that I’ve just made?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Amanda! Yes, you are correct! Make the ham stock first by simmering your ham bone with water for an hour, and then proceed with Step 1 of the recipe, using your fresh-made ham stock as the stock called for in the recipe. Enjoy!

  • Pamela

    Turned out just like the picture and tastes great. Thanks for such a great recipe.


  • Huong

    I want to make this but I don’t have a ham bone or shank. How should I modify the recipe?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Huong! This recipe is dependent on using a ham bone or shank, unfortunately. You could skip it (and shorten the simmering time to about 15 minutes), but your soup will be lighter and have less depth of flavor.

  • debbie

    This was so delicious . I made it by the recipe. I personally wouldn’t change a thing.. However I do know that recipes depend on the brand names that are used…


  • Crx

    Can I just say OMG, this soup is AMAZING!! Do yourself a favor and make it..


  • Edna

    Very good soup. A nice change from ham/lentil/pea soup. However, anyone who can assemble the vegetables, chop them, mince garlic and peel and dice two pounds of potatoes in 10 minutes ( the prep time indicated in the recipe) deserves a medal!!


  • mike

    Made this tonight turned out awesome


  • sandy

    going to make this , cold and rainy today, this will be good .

  • Matt

    Kids: “Dad, this is the best soup you’ve ever made”


  • Karen

    Just made this soup and loved it. After reading comments above, I did make a couple adjustments to the recipe. I used Half & Half in place of cream, mixed with 2T of cornstarch for thickening. I also added 2 16 oz. cans of great northern beans. Very tasty and soup was perfect consistency, even upon reheating.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Karen, thanks for posting your adjustments! I like the addition of the great northern beans. I bet it would thicken up the soup well.

      • Andee

        Does this soup freeze well?

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Andee, potato soups in general do not freeze well, or at least the chunks of potatoes in them do not freeze well. That said, I think if you purée the soup completely, so there are no potato chunks, before adding the ham, the soup should freeze and reheat fine.

  • Rob

    I made this soup over the holidays and as others noted made a couple changes. I made the stock from the cleaned hambone first, using a chunky mire poix. I also used half and half cream and, because our month old baby girl wouldn’t settle that evening, it ended up sitting on the stove simmering for longer than it should have – a happy accident as this cooked down some of the potatoes, naturally thickening the soup. It had a rich full ham flavour and was absolutely delicious. My wife loved it so much I am actually on this page to refresh myself and make it again tonight.

  • Joe

    Great recipe. I used the Christmas ham bone for the stock (my 1st time doing so. Came out good)and added about 2Tbs of roux to thicken it up a bit. Used 1/2 & 1/2 as thats what was in the fridge and this soup came out great! I will definitely make it again!


  • Stephanie

    I made this from our leftover hambone from Christmas. It was delicious. I did add a little more whipping cream and had to thicken with baking powder and water. Very tasty. My husband loved it.


  • Kari

    Easy recipe and very tasty!

    Anyone know estimated nutrition/calorie information?

  • Judy Price

    I made this soup yesterday from a rather meaty hambone that I had in the freezer from Christmas. I also bought an additional ham steak and cut that up and added it and marrow bone to the pot as well. The recipe was awesome I did add a 40 ounce can of Hanover great Northern beans. I modified the recipe somewhat and combined what I like best from 2 receipts. I used half and half plus thickened it with wonder flour to make it look like picture and it was absolutely awesome!!! Note: Because I increased the size of the recipe I increase the amt of olive oil so as it was simmering and before and after I remove the bone and marrow bone from pot I repeatedly skimmed most of the olive oil and meat fat from top of pot. I served it to 5 different people and each person said they loved it and commented on how flavorful and hearty it was!!! I can’t wait to make it again!!!

  • Lynn

    As reported earlier just made this soup and it is delicious. Thinking tomorrow when reheating I will add some cabbage….any comments?

  • Lynn

    Making this tomorrow!! Will report back…sounds delicious.

  • Michelle

    Absolutely delicious! Whole family loved it!! Used almond milk instead of the cream, not as thick but didn’t matter! Definitely a keeper, thank you!!

  • Sue

    Awesome Potatoe and Ham Soup! All the family enjoyed it. Keeper recipe that I will make again.


  • Melissa

    Would I be able to do this in a crock pot? If so, would you do slow or hi? And add potatoes in later?

    • Lore

      I made this in the the crock pot yesterday. Put everything in except the potatoes and cream and cooked all day on low. When I came home from work, I turned it to high, removed the ham, added the potatoes and cooked about an hour til the potatoes were done. Then puréed some and re-added the chopped ham and cream. Was very good and easy to make.

  • Hillary Harris

    Love this! I added extra ham/sausage/kale/ and cilantro. With some half and half, and sour cream. My family loves me.

    • Melissa

      Did you do half and half instead of the Whipping cream!? I have that on hand but didn’t know it I could get away with it or not.

  • Susan

    When we don’t have any leftover ham, I buy one of those large ham steaks with the bone in that come vacuum packed from the grocery store meat section. It is cut from a cooked whole ham so it’s not like pressed ham or overly processed. One steak is usually enough for two medium pots of soup.

  • Judy B.

    Love ham and potato soup, and this one looks amazing. We dehydrated a lot of our excess garden veggies last year and I bet this would be extra good with a handful of dehydrated kale added. Thanks for sharing this, Elise. It’s been so cold here in WA this winter, and hearty soups are awesome warmer-uppers. :-)