Got leftover ham bone? Make this delicious, easy Ham Bone Soup! It’s loaded with navy beans, onion, carrot, celery and ham for a hearty dinner that will you fill you up. Perfect for a family dinner that everyone will love.
If you have ham for the holidays, don’t toss the bone! You can use it to make the most delicious soup.
This is one of my favorite ways to use leftovers. It has tons of flavor and makes the best ham soup! It uses the bone and the leftover meat to make a cozy soup with vegetables and beans.
Why This Recipe Works
- This is the best way to put a leftover ham bone to use! You will extract every last drop of flavor from it!
- When you simmer the bone, all of the flavors infuse into the broth, giving it the most amazing flavor!
- This ham bone soup with beans is great for freezing because it doesn’t have any milk, cream, or cheese.
- I’m also showing you how to thicken the soup without flour, cornstarch, or other tricks!
This recipe is made with aromatic vegetables like onion, carrot, celery, garlic, spices, and herbs that give it the best flavor.
There’s also plenty of navy beans – some are kept whole, and others are mashed before adding to the soup. Mashing the beans releases the starch that will thicken the soup. It’s a simple way to do it without using thickeners like cornstarch or flour.
The star is the ham bone, which gives the soup an intense and savory flavor. It’s the perfect way to use leftovers from the holidays.
Can I buy a ham bone?
Want to make this soup but don’t have a bone? You might be able to find one without having to cook a whole one yourself.
Check with your local butcher – a lot of times, they sell them. Some grocery stores have them – they are normally frozen, so ask at the meat counter.
Is ham hock the same thing?
They are not the same, but you can use either for this soup! Ham hock has less meat but will give your soup the same delicious flavor.
How to Make It
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the bone in the pot and brown it lightly on all sides. Once it’s browned, remove it from the pot.
In the same pot, cook the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium-low heat. Stir them occasionally for five minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Add the bone back to the pot, add the diced ham, the whole navy beans, seasonings, chicken stock, and water. If there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan, use your spoon to scrape them up. They will add a ton of flavor to your soup.
Place the rest of the beans in a bowl and mash them with a fork to form a paste. Put them in the soup and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for an hour. Stir it occasionally.
After an hour, remove the bone, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Discard the herbs. Remove any meat that you can from the bone and add it to the soup. Discard the bone.
Give the soup a taste and add more salt if it’s needed.
Have a leftover bone from a holiday dinner but not ready to use it? You can freeze it and use it to make this soup later! Tightly wrap it and place it in a large freezer-safe bag. It will keep for up to three months.
The soup is delicious after it’s cooked for an hour, but it just gets better the longer it simmers! So, let it cook longer to make it even better. It will be so flavorful and delicious.
The soup will last for three to four days in the refrigerator. It also freezes well. Let it cool and then store it in freezer containers for up to six months.
This is such a great way to use up those holiday leftovers! You don’t have to wait, though – find yourself a ham bone and make this whenever you’re craving a cozy soup!
Want More Ideas for Leftovers?
- Ham and Spinach Casserole is a deliciously cheesy pasta bake. It’s a comforting dinner!
- Ham Salad is a delicious old-fashioned recipe that is delicious as a sandwich filling or served with crackers!
- For a comforting dinner, make my One Pot Penne Skillet. It has a creamy sauce and a great way to use up leftover ham.
Did you love this recipe? I knew you would! Rate it, please!! It would be awesome if you’d give it a five-star rating below! If you snap any photos, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @julieseatsandtreats
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 ham bone
- 1 c. diced onion
- 1 c. diced carrot
- 1 c. diced celery
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 c. diced ham or ham scraps
- 2 cans navy beans 15 oz each, drained and rinsed, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 sprigs thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 24 oz chicken stock
- 4 c. water
- salt to taste
- In a large stockpot, or dutch oven, over medium heat add the butter. Sear the ham bone lightly on all sides, take the ham bone out of the pot, and set aside.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes. Add the ham bone back to the pot along with the diced ham, 1 can of the navy beans, the bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, chicken stock, and water. Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Place the remaining beans in a shallow bowl or plate and crush them with the back of a fork to form a paste, this will help to slightly thicken the soup, place the crushed beans in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for at least 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take the ham bone, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs out. Discard herbs pick off any meat you can from the ham bone and add it back to the pot. Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve.
- Have a leftover bone from a holiday dinner but not ready to use it? You can freeze it and use it to make this soup later! Tightly wrap it and place it in a large freezer-safe bag. It will keep for up to three months.
- The soup is delicious after it’s cooked for an hour, but it just gets better the longer it simmers! So, let it cook longer to make it even better. It will be so flavorful and delicious.
- The soup will last for three to four days in the refrigerator. It also freezes well. Let it cool and then store it in freezer containers for up to six months.
- This soup gets better the longer it simmers. Simmer for at least 60 minutes, or as long as you wish!