This creamy Ham and Potato Soup is comforting and healthy -- with bits of ham and vegetables in every bite!
You know what I really love on a cold winter's night? A nice warm bowl of healthy soup with a hunk of toasted baguette. I say healthy because I don't want to feel icky after eating soup -- which is how I feel after eating a lot of cream-based soups. Don't get me wrong -- I love them (especially a creamy mushroom soup) but they don't always love me. This Ham and Potato Soup is one of my new favorites -- and has nothing but ham, vegetables, broth, and cannellini beans in every bite.
If you ate ham for Christmas dinner like we did, this is THE perfect recipe to utilize the hambone. The bone of the ham has so much flavor just waiting to be released when it simmers in a large pot of water. DON'T THROW IT OUT! I beg you! Don't do it! If you don't have a ham bone, no worries. We'll talk more below.
How to Make Ham Stock
To make ham stock or ham broth, just place the entire bone (and whatever meat is still attached...leave it) in a large stockpot and fill with water until about half the bone is covered. This will be about 7-8 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour. (Note: Make sure the ham bone is simmering not boiling for that long. You don't want to reduce the liquid significantly, you just want the bone and meat to flavor the broth.)
Then discard the bone and any large pieces of meat that may have fallen off. Save the broth to use in this soup! You'll use all of it.
There's a Ham Broth Substitute, Don't Panic
If you don't have any ham stock or both or don't have the bone to make your own homemade ham stock, use either chicken stock or vegetable stock. It'll still taste absolutely delicious -- you just won't have as strong of a ham flavor.
Ingredients You'll Need & Some Notes
Here's what you'll need to make this soup:
- ham bone
- olive oil
- celery (you can really avoid a lot of the cutting here if you buy the pre-cut mirepoix mix at Whole Foods. When I'm desperate and short on time, I love this shortcut.)
- russet potatoes
- cannelini beans (white kidney beans)
- corn (I use frozen corn kernels I alway have on hand from Costco)
- Italian seasoning or fresh thyme (if using fresh thyme, use ½ teaspoon more)
- bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ham (heyyyy, leftovers!)
The Trick to Creamy Soup Without Using Cream or Milk
There's actually two things -- one secret ingredient and one secret "technique," of sorts. The secret ingredient is adding an extra potato. Potatoes are naturally creamy and while I still want to taste chunks of potato, I can let the other potato blend with the soup to make the broth luxurious and creamy without any dairy.
Just after adding the beans and just before adding the last two ingredients of corn and ham, I move half of the soup to my food processor or blender. I blend the soup on high for about 30 seconds to a minute until it's well combined. Then add the creamy mixture back in to the rest of the soup.
Other Cozy Favorites
- Easy Chicken Pot Pie
- Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry
- Easy Weeknight Chili
- Hibachi Chicken
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
Love is a warm bowl of soup!
Healthy Ham and Potato Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 7-8 cups ham stock or broth*
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup canned cannelini beans drained
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups leftover diced ham
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and potatoes and stir for another minute. Add ham stock*, beans, Italian seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
- When potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes, move half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Blend soup on high until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add mixture back to the soup.
- Add corn and ham to the soup and heat through, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with crusty bread.