Dinner Ideas / Pork / Soups

Ham Bone Soup

Rich, hearty, and soothing, this ham bone soup is the perfect way to use up a leftover ham bone. It’s loaded with hearty veggies and beans, packed with garlic and herbs, and so easy to make.

Overhead image of ham bone soup served in a bowl.

Once the cold weather rolls around, I find myself making soup all the time. Is there anything better than a steaming bowl of soup on a cold winter night? I sure don’t think so. This ham bone soup recipe has quickly become one of my favorite soups. The broth is meaty, rich, and full of ham flavor but still light and vibrant.

Why We Love This Leftover Ham Bone Soup

  • Easy. This is such an easy soup to make. The flavors are restaurant-quality, but home cooks of all skill levels can follow this simple and straightforward recipe.
  • Comforting. Ham bone soup is a soothing recipe filled with the comforting flavors of ham, chicken stock, and herbs.
  • Use all of the ham bone. Bones have so much flavor in them, and the broth for this soup is made by simmering the bone in chicken stock for at least an hour. Then, after the broth has been made, you remove the meat from the bone and put it in the soup.
Overhead image of the ingredients for ham bone soup.

Ham Bone Soup Ingredients

  • Ham bone – Make sure to use a ham bone that still has a bit of meat on it. I aim for a ham bone that’s about 3 pounds. 
  • Chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • Onion – A yellow onion is best for this recipe, but a white or red onion will work in a pinch.
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Bay leaves
  • Dried thyme – You can substitute fresh thyme if you prefer, or you can use any other winter herbs. 
  • Canned corn – Make sure to drain the canned corn. Frozen or fresh corn kernels will also work. 
  • Canned white kidney beans – You’ll need to drain and rinse the beans. 
  • Salt
  • Pepper – Always use freshly cracked pepper. 

How to Make Ham Bone Soup

  1. Prep the ham bone. Add the ham bone to a large stockpot or Dutch oven, and pour the chicken broth to cover the meat.
  2. Make the broth. Bring the ham bone and chicken stock to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer for an hour to an hour-and-a-half. Then remove the bone from the liquid and set it aside to cool. Next, strain the broth and set it aside. 
  3. Sauté veggies. In the soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté the veggies until the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Shred the meat. As the veggies cook, remove the meat from the ham bone and shred it into bite-sized pieces. 
  5. Add the meat and seasonings. Once the vegetables are done cooking, add the meat, bay leaves, and thyme, then season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  6. Pour in the broth. Add the strained ham bone broth, then bring the soup to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. 
  7. Finish. Stir in the corn and kidney beans, then simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the beans are heated throughout and the soup is the right consistency. Serve the soup hot with an optional garnish of fresh parsley.
Overhead view of a bowl of ham bone soup with a spoon in it, next to a few pieces of baguette, another bowl of soup, and a bowl of salt.

Tips for Success 

  • Keep at a light simmer. It’s important to keep the soup at a simmer rather than boiling it to ensure that the broth is rich, meaty, and velvety. 
  • Gently sauté. When cooking the veggies, cook them gently. You want them to get tender, but you don’t want them to brown.
  • Adjust the consistency. You can cook this soup to whatever consistency you like. If you want the broth a little bit thicker, just simmer the soup for longer. If you’d like the soup to be a little thinner, add some more chicken stock. 
  • Add more herbs and veggies. You can put just about any type of veggies in this ham bone soup, and you can add other herbs if you want. If you like spice, you can season the soup with some chili flakes. 
  • Freeze the bone. If you have a leftover ham bone but don’t have time to make soup, you can always freeze the bone for up to 3 months. Then, you can make this soup whenever you have the time. You don’t even need to defrost the bone, as you can start the recipe with a frozen ham bone. 

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to eat Ham Bone Soup is to serve it with a few side dishes. It pairs well with Garlic Butter Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Radishes, or Grilled Vegetables with Lemon Dressing. Don’t start it without the bread, though! Try my Garlic and Herb Focaccia, Butter Swim Biscuits, or this delicious Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread.

Close up of a spoonful of ham, bean, and veggie soup, above a bowl of the soup.

Storing And Reheating Leftovers

Any leftover ham bone soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat until the meat and veggies are warm.

Easy Soup Recipes To Try

I’m always on the lookout for easy soup recipes, especially in the fall and winter. Here are a few more of my favorites for you to make the next time you’re craving a warm bowl of homemade soup.

Overhead image of ham bone soup served in a bowl.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ham Bone Soup

This winter Ham Bone Soup is rich, hearty, and packed with tender veggies and beans. It has so much ham flavor, is super soothing, and is simple to make.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham bone soup, ham bone soup recipe, soup recipe with ham bone
Servings: 8
Calories: 294kcal


  • 3 pounds ham bone with meat
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Put the ham bone in a large stockpot or Dutch oven, then pour in the chicken stock until the meat and bone are mostly submerged.
  • Bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours to infuse the broth with ham flavor.
  • Remove the ham bone from the broth and set it aside to cool. Next, strain the broth through a mesh sieve and set it aside.
  • In a stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, and sauté until fragrant and the onion is translucent. This should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • While the vegetables cook, remove the meat from the han bone and shred it.
  • When the veggies are done cooking, add the meat to the pot. Add the bay leaves and dried thyme, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Pour in the infused ham broth, then bring the soup to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Add the corn and white kidney beans and stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the beans are heated through and the soup is to a desired consistency.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and serve while hot.


  • Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Reheat leftovers on the stove over medium heat until warm throughout, or in the microwave at 80% power in 30-second increments.
  • You can store a leftover ham bone in the freezer for up to 3 months in two airtight bags. You can then make this recipe with the frozen ham bone. 
  • Feel free to add any veggies and herbs that you have around the house. 


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 912mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3899IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg


  • Liz
    Dec 27, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    My broth came out a little bitter. I was wondering if that’s because I used chicken bone broth instead of just chicken broth.

    • Katerina
      Dec 29, 2023 at 9:41 am

      Yep, using bone broth in your soup can result in a bitter taste, as I’ve discovered from my own experience. While bone broth is nutritious and flavorful, it has a distinct profile that can lend a bitter undertone to dishes.

  • Richard Trapp
    Jan 2, 2024 at 10:50 am

    5 stars
    Ours tasted awesome. After making it we added more cannoli beans for our taste. My wife loves spicy and added some crushed red pepper. This is a very flexible recipe which I will enjoy tweeking.


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