This ham bone potato soup is the ultimate comfort food – easy to make, full of flavor and so satisfying.
Whenever you have a ham bone leftover from a holiday or Sunday dinner, don’t let it go to waste! Simmering ham bones produces a rich, smoky broth that’s perfect for making a hearty soup. This ham bone potato soup is the ultimate comfort food – easy to make, full of flavor and so satisfying.
Keep reading for the simple recipe and tips for extracting maximum taste from your ham bones. This savory soup makes use of the whole ham to create a delicious and economical meal.
Ingredients for Ham Bone Potato Soup
The beauty of this soup lies in its short, humble ingredients list. You’ll need:
- Ham bone(s) and any ham scraps or meat attached
- Potatoes, peeled and diced
- Onion, diced
- Carrots, peeled and sliced
- Celery, chopped
- Chicken or vegetable stock
- Milk or heavy cream
- All-purpose flour
- Garlic, minced
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
That’s it! Let the ham bone infuse the broth with smoky, meaty flavor while the veggies and potatoes simmer to creamy perfection.
Follow these simple steps for soul-warming ham bone potato soup:
Cook the ham bone(s)
- Place ham bone(s) and any ham pieces in a large pot. Cover with water by 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook 2-3 hours until bone is falling apart.
Prepare the soup base
- Remove bone, reserving broth. Pick off any remaining meat and chop.
- Sauté onion, carrots and celery in butter until soft, 5 minutes.
- Add to broth with potatoes. Simmer 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Make the roux
- In a separate pan, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Slowly whisk in 1 cup broth then add roux mixture back to soup pot.
Finish and serve
- Add milk or cream, chopped ham, garlic, thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer briefly until heated through and thickened.
- Garnish bowls of soup with fresh thyme. Enjoy!
The long simmer coaxes out bold ham flavor. Using the bone broth as a base keeps the soup naturally rich and savory.
Tips for Maximizing Flavor
Extracting the most from your ham bones ensures robust, smoky flavor. Here are some tips:
- Sear the bone before simmering to develop deeper flavor.
- Add an acid like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to help release collagen and minerals from the bone.
- Simmer for 2-3 hours to fully dissolve connective tissues.
- Combine multiple bones in one batch for concentrated flavor.
- Strain and defat broth to remove impurities and excess fat for a clean tasting foundation.
- Finish with a roux to give the broth silky body.
Follow these steps to get the most mileage from your ham hocks or bones. The long simmer transforms them into liquid gold for soups.
This soup comes together quickly once you have the ham bone broth prepped. Some tasty ways to modify it:
- Use Russet, red or yellow potatoes, or a mix.
- Swap in parsnips, turnips or sweet potatoes for different flavors.
- Add a kick with jalapeño, red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
- Mix in cooked navy, kidney or cannelini beans.
- Garnish bowls with sour cream, scallions, parsley or crispy ham bits.
- Stir in shredded cabbage or spinach in the last 5 minutes.
- For creamier texture, replace some broth with milk, half and half or heavy cream.
- Use chicken broth instead of just water for added body.
Get creative with veggies, seasonings and garnishes to make this soup your own! The ham bone provides the foundation.
Pairings and Serving Suggestions
A few ideas for accompaniments to complete the meal:
- Crusty bread, rolls or biscuits for dipping
- Shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese to sprinkle on top
- Mixed green side salad
- Corn muffins or corn bread
- Crackers or oyster crackers
Serve the soup on its own or with any combination of these items for a totally satisfying dinner. Leftovers will keep for up to a week – just freeze the remainder of the broth and reheat as needed.
Ham bone potato soup makes use of the whole ham and transforms leftovers into a hearty, comforting meal. The smoky ham broth and tender potatoes create pure soup satisfaction.
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