A Deliciously Tasty Ham Bone Soup Recipe

It’s that time of year again, where some folks start dreaming of pumpkin spice lattes, wooly sweaters, comfy boots. But for others, (like us), the commencement of fall means we begin thinking about what delightful concoctions we can whip up in our soup caldrons.

As the weather grows colder and the days become shorter, soup lovers around the world start looking to see what hearty and delicious creations they can come up with. Some are new, some may be healthy, while others are iconic bowls full of tastiness as well as having a unique culture and history.

One such soup is ham bone soup. This classic delicacy, however, did not have very bright beginnings. It originated in the southern colonies where enslaved African people were forced to make due with the leftovers and scraps they were given by the plantation owners cook.

If they were “lucky” they were allowed to grow a garden. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, so the ham bones were soaked in water, along with whatever vegetables and herbs were on hand.

The result was a hearty, nutritious soup that helped keep everyone full. Over the years, ham bone soup has evolved and can be made a variety of ways. It’s enjoyed by people all over the world, especially after holidays when ham is served.

As for our version, we are sure you’ll enjoy the smoky, richly layered flavors that come from a combination of delicious ingredients.

A Deliciously Tasty Ham Bone Soup Recipe

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Total: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Servings: 16


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 ham bone (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 a head of green cabbage
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 – 16 ounce cans of black-eyed peas
  • 1 pound of chopped ham
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • fresh parsley and hot sauce (for garnish)


1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook and stir until the vegetables start to soften (about 6 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook until aromatic (about 45 seconds).

2. Add the ham bone, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and black pepper. The ham bone will be salty so hold off on adding any salt until the end.

3. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce too low. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

4. Add the potatoes and cabbage, and simmer the covered pot for another 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the Black Eyed Peas and diced ham and simmer for another 10–15 minutes.

6. Remove the ham bone and the bay leaf. Taste and add some cayenne pepper and salt if needed.

7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve.


  • If black-eyed peas are not to your liking, feel free to substitute them with white beans like navy, northern, or cannellini. The results will still be phenomenal.
  • To make your soup thicker, feel free to add a bit of cornstarch. This is totally optional.

Nutritional Facts

  • calories: 165
  • carbohydrates: 24 grams
  • protein: 13 grams
  • fat: 3 grams
  • cholesterol: 15 milligrams
  • sodium: 746 milligrams
  • potassium: 567 milligrams
  • fiber: 5 milligrams
  • sugar: 4 grams
  • calcium: 69 milligrams
  • iron: 2 milligrams

Is Ham Bone Soup Good For You?

Ham bone soup is positively awesome for you. The collagen that is extracted from the bone is proven to support heart health and improve skin.

It helps with the skin’s elasticity and can even relieve acne. The calcium helps build strong bones, reduce inflammation. The soup is also loaded with protein and potassium that helps muscles and connective tissue.

Bone broth has become extremely popular over the past few years for its overall health benefits. If you don’t want to boil bones for hours, you can buy the stock pre-made.

How Should You Store Your Ham Bone Soup?

When storing you ham bone soup in the fridge, place it an airtight container, and it will keep fresh for 3–5 days. If you want to freeze it, store it in a freezer safe container, and it will stay fresh for about 3 months. However, it will be safe to eat for many months afterward.

What Are Some Variations Of Ham Bone Soup?

Beans are not the only thing you can change about your hambone soup. You can feel free to switch out the cabbage for spinach or kale. You can also substitute sweet potatoes for the white ones.

If you don’t have a ham bone handy, you can use him hocks, salt pork (fat back), bacon, or even ham steak. Some Parmesan cheese is also great to use as a garnish.

What Can You Serve With Ham Bone Soup?

Ham bone soup can be served with a slew of tasty sides, a few include:

  • homemade bread or biscuits
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • baked sweet potato
  • bacon cheddar puffs
  • homemade onion rings
  • quiche
  • panzanella salad
  • coleslaw
  • cornbread
  • prawn salad
  • cheesy garlic chips

What Are Some Other Tasty Southern Soups?

Just in case you fall in love with this ham bone soup, we’re happy to report that the south offers a slew of others, that are just as tasty. Some are:

  • chicken and dumpling soup
  • potato corn chowder
  • red bean veggie soup
  • sausage and chicken gumbo
  • shrimp chowder
  • Cajun corn soup
  • chicken pot pie soup
  • pine back soup
  • chicken barley soup
  • Brunswick soup
  • Virginia peanut soup
  • spicy butternut soup
  • corn soup
  • chicken and dumpling soup

What Is The Difference Between A Ham Bone And A Ham Hock?

The ham bone and ham hock each come from different parts of the pig. The bone usually comes from the upper leg, while the hock comes from the ankle area. The hocks are usually sold smoked and cured, so they have more flavor than the bone.

Ham bones are the result of a ham portion that’s already been cooked, ham hocks need to be cooked.

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