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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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  • 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!

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