Ham and Potato Soup

published Apr 4, 2022
Ham and Potato Soup Recipe

Turn leftover ham into a cozy bowl of creamy, comforting goodness.

Serves4 to 6

Makesabout 2 quarts

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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a creamy, white, ham and potato soup in a metal bowl with a silver spoon inside
Credit: Kelli Foster

If you find yourself with a lot of leftover ham, simmering it in a soup is one of the easiest ways to transform the smoky meat into something completely different. Adding a few humble ingredients like potatoes, onions, milk, and broth turns the ham into a comforting bowl of hearty soup that can work for lunch or dinner. If you’re a fan of creamy soups, like New England clam chowder, this ham-y version will be right up your alley.

What Are the Best Potatoes for Potato Soup?

The type of potato you need for potato soup really depends on what texture you’re going for. If you have a broth-based recipe like this kale and potato soup and you want the potatoes to stay intact, Yukon Golds or waxy potatoes hold their shape well. For creamy, baked potato-inspired soups, humble russets are your friend because they fall apart slightly and contribute to the creaminess. Plus, you can turn the peels into a delicious roasted potato skin snack!

How Do You Thicken Potato Soup? 

This potato soup relies on two ingredients for thickening: flour, which thickens up the liquid as it simmers, and russet potato, which has a lot of starch that also releases into the liquid to help thicken it up.

How to Make Ham and Potato Soup

  • Sauté the aromatics. Cook diced onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme in butter until the onion softens. 
  • Add the potatoes, ham, and flour. Add diced russet potatoes and ham, sprinkle with flour, and cook for a minute to cook the floury taste out.
  • Simmer with broth and milk. Add chicken broth and milk and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the soup thickens slightly. Don’t let it come to a boil or the milk could separate.
Credit: Kelli Foster

How Long Does Potato and Ham Soup Last in the Refrigerator?

I don’t recommend freezing the soup, as the potatoes and dairy tend to change in texture. The soup can be refrigerated for up to four days, though, and reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through. Thin it out with a little more milk or broth if it’s thickened up a lot.

Ham and Potato Soup Recipe

Turn leftover ham into a cozy bowl of creamy, comforting goodness.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Makes about 2 quarts

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    medium carrots (about 6 ounces total)

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 3 cloves


  • 1 stalk


  • 1 1/2 pounds

    russet potatoes (about 3 medium or 2 large)

  • 7 to 8 ounces

    diced, cooked ham (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 5 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme, or 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 cups

    whole or 2% milk


  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Peel and dice 2 medium carrots (about 1 cup). Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups) and 1 medium celery stalk (about 1/2 cup). Finely chop 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the same second medium bowl as you complete it: Peel and dice 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 1/2 cups). Dice 7 to 8 ounces cooked ham if needed (about 1 1/2 cups).

  3. Melt 5 tablespoons unsalted butter in a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium heat. Add the carrot mixture, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the ham, potatoes, and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to cook the floury taste out. While stirring constantly, pour in 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth and 2 cups whole or 2% milk. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a lively simmer, stirring occasionally (do not let boil).

  5. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender and the soup thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Remove the thyme sprigs if needed before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: This soup does not freeze well, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat over medium heat, thinning out with more broth or milk if needed.