Use the leftovers from a whole ham to make this delicious Leftover Ham Bone Soup with loads of veggies!
It’s that time of year when everyone is making all kinds of tasty soups and stews. The leaves have turned and the mornings are noticeably crisp.
Days like these make us all start settling in for cool weather, don’t they? And one of the best things about cool weather is the change in menu. Now, I really, really enjoy all the fresh veggies and wonderful salads that are so great in hot weather, but I always look forward to changing gears a little bit when autumn comes around.
Of course, everyone has had chicken-vegetable soup, right? And, beef with vegetables, too. But have you ever had ham soup? That’s a hearty soup made with the broth cooked from a meaty leftover ham bone. If you never have, then please let me introduce you to my Leftover Ham Bone Soup recipe!
❤️ Why We Love This Recipe
- Transform a leftover ham bone into a savory, aromatic soup with a rich, hearty broth.
- This recipe is great for using up every bit of a holiday ham.
- Comfort food with minimal effort.
🛒 Ingredient Notes
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- Leftover meaty ham bone – You’ll need the leftovers from a big bone-in ham. I always save ham bones. They freeze very well. If you don’t have one on hand, check with your local HoneyBaked Ham store. They’ll sell you one really cheap.
- Celery and onion – The simple aromatics that will flavor the soup.
- Diced tomatoes – Use them along with their juices.
- Baby lima beans – Baby limas (or butterbeans in the south) go so well with ham. If you don’t have them, you could add green peas or green beans.
- Corn – A little corn in the soup gives a nice sweetness and crunch.
- Potatoes – Use whatever you have – russets, yukon gold, and red skinned potatoes are all good.
🥄 How to Make Leftover Ham Bone Soup
First and most importantly, this recipe makes a LOT of soup, so go find the largest pot or Dutch oven you have in your kitchen. Really. You know the one that’s in the very back of the cabinet because you never use it but you know you’ll need it one day? Yes, that one. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now, see the hambone in the picture up there? That was a leftover Christmas ham that I saved in a sturdy ziplog bag and tossed in the freezer. Why? Because to me the soup from a leftover ham bone is way better than the ham was the first time around! Perfect for any time of year. So, let’s get started.
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This is by no means an exact recipe where you have to count out or measure every little ingredient. Just play with it! Use whatever you like best, but this is my basic recipe.
- Place your leftover hambone in a large pot with enough water to come 1/2 to 3/4 up the hunk of meat (well, I don’t know what else to call it!). Bring it to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours. At the end of the cooking time, what you’ll have is a pot full of very tasty, very fragrant ham stock.
- Remove the bone from the stock and let it cool enough so that you can handle it. Then cut all the ham that you can off the bone and return it to the pot with the stock. You can throw away the actual bone now. It has done its duty by adding so much flavor to the soup pot.
- Now, dice the onion and celery and add them to the pot.
- Add the diced canned tomatoes, petite lima beans (or butter beans if you have them), potatoes, and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste. I used a good tablespoon of salt because that’s a huge pot of soup to season.
- Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender.
I would have put some frozen sliced okra in this for the last 30 minutes, but the pot was too full!
🔀 Variations and Tips
- Other very popular soups that make great use of a leftover ham bone are ham and bean soup and ham and potato soup.
- Add other vegetables that you like to this delicious soup. Sliced okra is always a great addition as are green peas and green beans.
- Stir in a handful of fresh spinach, kale, or chopped cabbage near the end of cooking time.
- A can of drained, rinsed cannellini beans is a good optional addition.
- Diced carrots add a nice touch of sweetness.
- Add herbs if you like. I always enjoy fresh thyme and bay leaf.
- Turn it into a creamy soup with the addition of a little half-and-half or light cream.
🍚 Storing and Freezing
Store completely cooled soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To freeze, transfer to freezer-safe containers and keep frozen for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
❓ Questions About Ham Bone Soup
Yes, you can easily make this recipe in a crock pot! Cook the ham broth first (water and ham bone) on low for about 8 hours. Remove the ham bone and add the remaining ingredients (including any ham that can be removed from the bone). Cook on high for about 2 hours. Serve and enjoy!
You can keep a leftover ham bone refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to two months. It should be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and placed in a freezer container or zip top bag.
🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like
- Creole Beef and Okra Soup
- Peas and Greens Soup
- Black Bean and Ham Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Spanish Rice and Chicken Soup
More Questions? I’m happy to help!
If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Homemade Ham Bone Soup
- 1 meaty bone leftover from a large ham
- 1 large onion
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1 pound frozen baby lima beans
- 2 potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
- salt and pepper
- Place ham bone in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Remove the bone from the stock. Cut ham off the bone and return the ham to the pot with the stock.
- Dice the onion and celery and add them to the pot.
- Add diced tomatoes, lima beans, potatoes and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
- Store completely cooled soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To freeze, transfer to freezer-safe containers and keep frozen for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- To make this recipe in a crockpot — Cook the ham broth first (water and ham bone) on low for about 8 hours. Remove the ham bone and add the remaining ingredients (including any ham that can be removed from the bone). Cook on high for about 2 hours.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on September 21, 2009. It has been updated with additional information and new photos.