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This delicious Ham and Vegetable Soup is the perfect way to cook with a leftover ham bone that you might have on hand from a special Sunday supper or a holiday meal!
Among the many things that my husband Jack and I have in common – we were both taught by our parents to never waste food. So, considering how much food we cook for A Family Feast, we either share leftovers with family and neighbors, or sometimes we freeze some ingredients to use in a future recipe. Such is the case with this Ham and Vegetable Soup recipe!
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been on a mission to cook as much as possible with food from our freezer and pantry. In the bottom of our freezer drawer was a bag of ham stock that Jack had made a couple of months ago from the bone of our leftover holiday ham. We also had a variety of vegetables on hand – onions, celery, carrots, leeks, potatoes, kale – and even a bag of frozen corn kernels in the bottom of the freezer drawer, as well as some Parmesan cheese rinds (which we always save and freeze because they add great flavor to soups)!
So while this creamy Ham and Vegetable Soup started out for us as a way to use up some leftovers – it was so delicious, we had to share it here today!
This soup has a wonderful depth of flavor, and it is loaded with lots of hearty and healthy ingredients. Don’t worry – even if you don’t have some leftover ham stock on hand in your own freezer, we give you the recipe below to make your own delicious ham stock from scratch.
After making this Ham and Vegetable Soup last week, we brought some to share with friends who invited us to visit them for a few days down on Cape Cod. Everyone loved it (and asked for the recipe), and we think you’ll love it too!
- 4 pounds meaty ham bone
- 4 cups onion, large dice
- 4 cups celery, large dice
- 4 cups carrot, large dice
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 ½ quarts water
- 4 whole pepper corns
- Ham stock from above, about 1½ – 2 quarts
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 slices bacon, diced
- 1 ½ cups leeks, white only, cleaned of sand and diced
- 1 cup celery, small dice, about two large stalks
- 2½ cups carrots, one inch dice
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dry thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
- 8 ounces Parmesan cheese rinds, optional (we save them in the freezer for soups)
- 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
- 1 head Tuscan kale, cleaned from ribs and cut up
- 2 cups frozen kernel corn
- 1 15.5-ounce can small white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ pounds leftover ham from bone diced (or purchase a deli ham steak and dice)
- 1 cup light cream
- Start by making the stock. Add all stock ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for two hours. Strain stock and pick meat from bone. Discard the rest. This step can be done in advance and the stock frozen until needed. Cool and freeze in zip lock gallon bags.
- Mix ham stock with vegetable stock and heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, but salt only if needed.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat and add bacon. Cook for 7-8 minutes until just short of crispy.
- Add leeks, celery and carrots and cook for five minutes.
- Add garlic and cook one minute.
- Add stock, thyme, bay leaves, tomato and optional Parmesan rinds. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just short of tender.
- Add potatoes and kale and bring back to a boil then simmer until tender, about five minutes.
- Add corn, beans and diced ham and simmer five minutes.
- Stir in cream and remove from heat.
- Pick out bay leaves and Parmesan rinds and discard. Serve immediately.
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