Is there anything better on a cold winter day than a big bowl of hearty ham and potato soup?
True, there is some close competition from white bean and ham soup. Come to think about it, they’re both great!
Use a Ham Shank or Leftover Ham
This recipe is for soup made with ham and potato. You can use either a leftover ham bone and some ham from a glazed ham, or you can use a meaty ham shank.
You could even use a ham hock, but the hocks aren’t as meaty as the shanks, so if you use hocks, you’ll likely need extra ham.
The Best Potatoes for This Soup
For this recipe, I’m using Russet potatoes. They become soft and creamy during cooking, absorbing all the wonderful flavors in the broth. Russets are also really starchy, which helps thicken the soup.
For firmer, chunkier cubes of potato that hold their shape during cooking, you can swap the Russets for the same amount of red-skinned potatoes or Yukon golds.
Save Time by Using Chicken Stock
I’m using chicken stock for this soup, along with the broth that the ham bone or shank naturally creates while it cooks. I’m doing this to save time.
If you want to make the soup entirely with the broth that comes from a leftover ham bone, you can easily do that. Just cover the ham bone with water and pot, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for an hour before starting the recipe.
You could probably also just put the bone in a slow cooker with some water overnight to make some ham stock.
Whether you use chicken stock or not, both methods work fine, you’ll save an hour if you use chicken stock, and you will likely need to add less salt.
Salt to Taste
Speaking of salt! Potatoes need more than a little salt to taste good. Ham has plenty of sodium. So, good match right?
Yes, this is one of the reasons they taste so good together. But you do need to taste and adjust for salt, every time. If the soup seems bland, add salt until it is no longer bland. If the soup is too salty for you, add more potatoes.
Want More Cozy Winter Soups?
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Split Pea Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 3/4 cup chopped parsnips or carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 meaty ham bone from a ham, or a meaty ham shank
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups cubed ham (if using a ham bone), 3/4-inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- Salt to taste