What do I do with a ham bone?! While I’ve made soup after soup using chicken and turkey carcasses, until recently, I’ve never found myself with a ham bone.
We do eat ham occasionally, but I usually don’t cook a full bone-in ham. Since I recently did cook one, I wanted to try making a ham bone soup.
But, I’ve never really even had a ham broth based soup before, so this was a true experiment for me. I based it off of two of my favorite ham recipes – this tasty ham and cheese potato casserole and this ham and cheese soup. I skipped the cheese, although I think a cheese sauce added at the end would be spectacular. The result was a delicious way to enjoy leftover ham.
Ham Bone, Potato, and Pepper Soup
- 1 ham bone, with scrap ham remaining on the bone
- 7-9 C of water
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 2 stalks of celery
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 tsp. Montreal Steak seasoning
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 C shredded or diced cooked ham (leftover)
- 3 medium red potatoes, cubed
- 1 can (14 oz) Great White Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 C barley
Begin by placing your ham bone in a large stockpot and covering it with water. For me, that took about 7-9 C of water. Use more or less depending on the size of your ham bone. Season the water with salt, pepper, leftover tops of celery stalks and and 1/4 of the onion. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the meat begins to fall off the bone. At this point, remove the stock from the heat and carefully strain the hot broth. Allow the broth to cool down and skim the fat off the top.
Meanwhile, prepare the veggies. Dice the bell peppers, cube the potatoes, slice the carrots and quarter the onion.
Arrange all the veggies into a 6-quart crockpot. Sprinkle in the 1/3 C barley. Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully pour the ham stock into the crockpot. Season well with 1 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning. Add in the diced or shredded ham and beans. Stir.
Note: I do not recommend using the ham from the bone, unless you’ve tasted it and it still has flavor! After making stock, the good flavor from the ham often has been picked up by the stock and therefore the remaining ham tastes pretty blah. So, I recommend “fresh” leftover ham.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until veggies are tender, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve warm and enjoy.