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Old-Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup Recipe | What To Do With Leftover Ham & Ham Bone

This hearty old fashioned ham and bean soup recipe, filled with diced carrots, celery, and potatoes, is the perfect way to use up leftover ham… SO delicious on a cold day!

old fashioned ham and bean soup in a blue and white ceramic bowl with thyme in the background

As I’m writing this, it’s currently thunder storming outside after a balmy 70-degree day. Never mind that it’s December 23rd and this is Ohio…

It’s safe to say that a white Christmas is NOT in the forecast, but we’ll make the most of the next couple of days. Christmas Eve will be filled with our many traditions, including baking vanilla pizzelle and chocolate pizzelle as a family and watching A Christmas Story on repeat during our sibling gift exchange.

Because we’re going to my Dad’s house on Christmas Day, I’ll also be making our Christmas dinner — pork roast with green beans and gnocchi, this mashed potato recipe with cream cheese, and sour cream cucumber salad. Mmm, I can’t wait!

I know a lot of you will be making ham though (and if you are, you TOTALLY need to try this Instant Pot ham recipe!), so I wanted to share my favorite recipe for using up leftover ham! I actually made both a turkey breast and a ham for Thanksgiving this year, and I saved the leftover ham and ham bone in the freezer just for the purpose of making this ham and bean soup recipe.

Leftover ham and the ham bone will keep in the freezer for up to two months, so this is a fantastic way to use them up even if you’re not in the mood for soup right away. Just pull them out when you’re ready to make this leftover ham soup, and you’re good to go!

ham and bean soup recipe with potatoes onions carrots celery on a wooden cutting board with knife

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup With Ham Bone

Start by placing the ham bone in a large pot, along with the 8 cups of water. Simmer the ham bone for about 45 minutes, until it’s very fragrant. Then remove and discard the bone.

I like to use my heavy duty Le Creuset Dutch oven for this purpose. They can be pretty pricey, but they literally last forever! Definitely an investment you’ll be glad you made…

In the meantime, you can start dicing up the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. I prefer to sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic before putting them into the soup, so I also do that in a large skillet while the ham stock is simmering.

Finally, add all of the remaining ingredients into the pot, including the leftover diced ham. Let it simmer for about 15 more minutes, and it’s ready to eat!

leftover ham soup in a blue and white bowl with a yellow lip

This rustic ham and bean soup with potatoes is SO delicious on a cold winter day — or a warm one for that matter! I’m really wishing I had made more, because after my boys went back for seconds, there wasn’t much left. As with so many soups, I think it’s even better after sitting for a day.

ham and bean soup recipe in a blue and white patterned ceramic bowl with a yellow rim

Old-Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This hearty ham and bean soup recipe, filled with diced carrots, celery, and potatoes, is the perfect way to use up leftover ham… SO delicious on a cold day!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the leftover ham bone in a large pot, and add 8 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove the ham bone and discard.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the carrots, celery ,and onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. After removing the ham bone from the stock, add the onion mixture to the pot. Stir in the diced ham, potatoes, beans, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and discard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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How much did you LOVE this recipe?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #unsophisticook!

old fashioned ham and beans in a blue and white bowl with a silver spoon

I’d love to see how your ham and bean soup turns out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!

Ham and Bean Soup Recipe -- this hearty ham and bean soup, filled with diced carrots, celery, and potatoes, is the perfect way to use up leftover ham… SO delicious on a cold day! | easy ham and bean soup | old fashioned ham and bean soup | stovetop ham and bean soup | best ham and bean soup | find the recipe on unsophisticook.com

Sandy

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

Just made this and it is wonderful. I did use a smoked ham hock and added chunks of ham as an addition.

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

So happy you loved it, Sandy! It's definitely a favorite around here, too.

Bree Sullivan

Sunday 10th of December 2017

I made this soup tonight for dinner with a leftover ham bone from last night’s dinner party. I left out the potato and used thyme powder from my spice drawer instead of fresh sprigs. I added a can of diced tomatoes and cabbage but otherwise followed the recipe. It turned out AMAZING. My family loved it! Perfect for a cold, winter night.

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Sunday 10th of December 2017

Sounds delicious, Bree! Leftover ham bones are one of my favorite kinds of leftovers.

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