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Ham and Vegetable Soup - A delicious soup, perfect for using up a leftover ham bone! Filled with lots of healthy vegetables in a creamy broth.

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)!

Ham and Vegetable Soup - A delicious soup, perfect for using up a leftover ham bone! Filled with lots of healthy vegetables in a creamy broth.

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!

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Ham and Vegetable Soup

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10


Ham Stock

  • 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
  • pounds leftover ham from bone diced (or purchase a deli ham steak and dice)
  • 1 cup light cream


  1. 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.
  2. Mix ham stock with vegetable stock and heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, but salt only if needed.
  3. 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.
  4. Add leeks, celery and carrots and cook for five minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook one minute.
  6. Add stock, thyme, bay leaves, tomato and optional Parmesan rinds. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  7. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are just short of tender.
  8. Add potatoes and kale and bring back to a boil then simmer until tender, about five minutes.
  9. Add corn, beans and diced ham and simmer five minutes.
  10. Stir in cream and remove from heat.
  11. Pick out bay leaves and Parmesan rinds and discard. Serve immediately.

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Ham and Vegetable Soup - A delicious soup, perfect for using up a leftover ham bone! Filled with lots of healthy vegetables in a creamy broth.

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  • John Vidal wrote:

    Crazy good

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks John!

  • Isabelle Eyman wrote:

    I made this a second time and froze it for a snowy day. Highly recommend. I made it without the corn and beans…and might recommend doubling down on the kale.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Isabelle!

  • Jesca wrote:

    This was really delicious. I admit that I was gifted a lot of cooked ham but didn’t get the bone, so I ended up doing something a little weird: I skipped the stock prep portion and went straight into making the soup. I used a mix of low sodium (because the ham itself is pretty salty) beef bone broth, chicken bone broth, and vegetable stock cause that’s what I had. Some folks might find that terribly weird, but the end result was a very tasty soup, even without the bacon. I’m sure that if you make the stock yourself, it’s even better, but if you’re like me and didn’t end up with the bone, I still recommend the rest of the recipe. My partner is very vocal about disliking ham/bacon/pork, but he can’t get enough of this soup. I’m so glad! A keeper for sure.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jessica! We’re always happy when the picky eaters in the house enjoy our recipes! 🙂

  • Yvonne wrote:

    This soup was absolutely fantastic! I’ve never made ham stock before and found this recipe googling “soups made with ham bone” after our holiday dinner. I made the stock one day and then the soup the next to break up the work. No lie, it takes a fair amount of time because it has many ingredients. However, the end result is amazing. I followed the recipe as-is except that I used heavy cream rather than light. It makes a ton, so I was able to share some with friends i would normally have over in person. Although I would only make this after a holiday meal that includes a spiral ham, i would happily make it every year because it’s perhaps the best soup I’ve ever made.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Yvonne – so glad you were happy with the soup!

  • Melissa wrote:

    I made this last year with our holiday ham and I’ve never been able to forget about it. I searched the internet high and low for it again and I’m so glad I finally found it! Can’t wait to make it again in a couple of weeks!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you are enjoying the soup!

  • Evelyn Henderson wrote:

    Looks good

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Evelyn – hope you’ll give it a try!

  • Nancy Markle wrote:

    Hi… This looks delicious! I want to know if I can freeze this soup! I know Potatoes don’t freeze well. Any suggestions to what I can use for a substitute? Rice? I’ve tried turnips before… they are ok, but…
    Well not my first choice! Looking forward to trying more of your great recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nancy – I think rice would get very soft/expand after freezing and thawing. Turnips would probably work (but agree – they aren’t my first choice either). I would probably just freeze it with the potatoes – if you know you are going to freeze a portion of the soup, you could try undercooking the potatoes a bit, then allow them to finish cooking once you’ve thawed and reheated the soup. Hope that helps?

  • Catherine wrote:

    I cooked a rolled smoked gammon joint – no bones – in cloudy apple juice and water (bringing it to the boil first in plain water first and discarding it) and used the stock to make the soup – had all ingredients handy, including old Parmesan rinds : A total success but I am partial as I am quite a “soup” person.

    • Martha wrote:

      I love the idea of cooking the gammon joint in apple juice and water! Glad you enjoyed the soup – my husband Jack is a ‘soup’ person too and I think he makes some of the best!

  • Carley Leonard wrote:

    By strain stock and discard the rest, do you mean discard everything but the liquid from the ham stock? So add fresh carrots and celery for the second part of the recipe or add the ones from the stock?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Carley – Yes – keep the liquid from the ham stock and discard the rest. Then add fresh carrots and celery for the second part of the recipe. (The carrots and celery used in the stock will be mushy and somewhat flavorless, so we like to make the soup with fresh ingredients.) Hope that helps explain!

  • Renee wrote:

    Excellent soup recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Renee!

  • Karin Goss wrote:

    In reviewing the Ham and Vegetable soup, I was wondering if I could use spinach instead of Kale. I am not a fan of Kale.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Karin – Spinach takes a fraction of the time to cook vs kale, so just add it toward the end of the cooking time.

  • Nick Mills wrote:

    After dragging out a gammon from Christmas from the freezer, I was determined not to waste one single bit, including the stock I used when I cooked the gammon. After a bit of converting (US-UK) this recipe worked out great! Relatively time consuming preparing the ingredients, but I shortened it by doing the prep between stages, the timings worked out really well for this! I’ve added the cream and I’m going to freeze it, if it does separate I’ll just blend it a bit. Great recipe all round! Bookmarked!! 👍🏻

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Nick! So glad you enjoyed the soup!

  • Yvonne Crozier wrote:

    Our family loved this soup. I used a can of coconut milk instead of light cream and a regular white onion because we didn’t have leeks and it was delicious!

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Yvonne! So glad you enjoyed the soup!

  • Jill wrote:

    Absolutely delicious soup! It does take a bit of work but is totally worth it! I used previously made ham stock and halved the recipe. I also omitted the light cream due to dairy restrictions. Highly recommend making – yum, yum!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jill! Glad you enjoyed the soup!

  • Jennifer Brown wrote:

    This is an incredibly tasty soup even without the bacon and cream. Will definitely make regularly!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you liked it Jennifer!

  • Jean W Hampton wrote:

    Makes a large batch of soup and it is really flavorful. This is a keeper!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jean – glad you liked the soup!

  • Lynne Treibel wrote:

    I made this recipe this week, and it’s pretty fabulous, even when I omitted the cream.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lynne!

  • Carrie wrote:

    Absolutely amazing!! Very time consuming, but worth it.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Carrie! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Kimberly Robinson wrote:

    Absolutely Wonderful!
    I did not take the time to make the ham stock, but would on another day. I used all vegetable.
    Everything else I followed. I did not have Parmesan rinds on hand but threw in some Gouda rinds…it was good-aah!
    A wonderful recipe – chock full of flavor!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kimberly! So glad you enjoyed the soup!

  • Jennifer wrote:

    I took your advice, and used what we had on hand. The bay leaf was a plus. We made 8 quarts (a much smaller batch). It was soooo good.

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe Jennifer!

  • Deborah Wrazen wrote:

    Substituted milk for cream , and used vegetable broth . Terrific tasting soup.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Deb Walsh wrote:

    Can’t wait to make this soup!

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love the soup Deb!

  • Liz wrote:

    Wow. Made this with leftover Easter ham. It felt like a long process and a lot of work, but honestly it tasted better than the original Easter meal. Love the parmesan rind idea.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Liz – so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Michelle wrote:

    Can I freeze this recipe?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Michelle – This soup has some cream in it so it might separate after it is thawed. If you want to freeze some of it – ideally – I’d suggest freezing a portion of the soup before adding the cream. Then when you thaw and reheat it, add the cream at that point. Hope that helps!

  • Lee Ann Smith wrote:

    This was really good! Thanks for the great recipe. I took it it my sisters house and her husband ate 3 bowls of it!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lee Ann! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe!

  • Ana wrote:

    Hello! What if the ham is not on the bone anymore? Skip the ham stock? Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ana – The ham stock is fairly important to the overall flavor of the soup. You could ask the butcher at the supermarket if they have a ham bone to sell. Otherwise, you can swap in a different kind of stock (vegetable or chicken) but the end result really won’t be the same.

  • Nadia wrote:

    could you do this in a crockpot?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nadia – You can definitely make the ham stock in a slow cooker. Once you’ve done that, the rest of the soup doesn’t take long to make so I would just make that on the stove. Hope that helps!

  • Joyce wrote:

    I shopped for this today, made it from scratch this afternoon, even the ham stock from scratch in crock pot on high for 3 hours, ate some for dinner with hubby, and it was AWESOME! We’re going to share the rest of this with family in Alabama for Thanksgiving…..they’re gonna love it too!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Joyce! We’re very glad you enjoyed the recipe! Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Ursula McCarthy wrote:

    Love this site, I saw it for the first time today and printed some of the recipes, starting with the ham and vegie soup will make it this week.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ursula! We’re glad you found us and we hope you love the recipes. 🙂

  • Kristin wrote:

    have you ever done this as a crock pot soup? I’m curious if I can just add all ingredients and let it cook throughout the day.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kristin – We’ve only made this soup as written. The bulk of the cooking time is making the ham stock – I’m sure you could do that in the slow cooker. For the rest – it doesn’t take long for the diced potatoes and other veggies to cook so they may get mushy cooking all day in a slow cooker. Hope that helps!

  • Marla wrote:

    This looks delicious. What do you mean by light cream?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marla – At our local supermarket, they sell a variety of cream – heavy or whipping cream, light cream (which has less milk fat) and half and half (which is half milk and half light cream) – you should be able to find it in the dairy aisle. Hope that helps!

  • Patricia Paul wrote:

    Thank you Martha for the speedy reply. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  • Patricia Paul wrote:

    When making the ham stock, do you leave any ham you remove from the bone in the stock? This is a great alternative to split pea or ham and bean soup.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Patricia – You can if you’d like. In this recipe, we added the ham back in at the end so it stayed intact – if you leave it in while the broth cooks it will disintegrate a bit. (But I does add flavor for sure!)

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