Creamy ham and potato soup is the perfect way to use up leftover ham. It is easy to make and the ultimate comfort food in a bowl. This soup uses milk and no heavy cream.
We love making baked ham here a few times a year. It always makes plenty for a couple of meals and it is fairly inexpensive when you think about how many meals or how many people you can feed with a ham.
For us the ham usually makes enough for 3 meals, but it depends on what all we use it for. This ham and potato soup is our favorite soup to make and then we use the rest for other dishes. There are many things to make with it!
We use chicken broth for our soup because our ham bones are quite often boiled down for other meals like our ham and bean soup and I like to use it in baked beans too!
Ham - Leftovers from a baked ham or you can use ham steaks cut up.
Butter - We recommend butter, but you can substitute with oil. It is being used to sauté the vegetables.
Carrots - Regular carrots sliced are best, but you can use baby carrots cut up too if you need to. We have been limited for choices in the produce section here and have had to use them in soup before.
Celery - No substitutions recommended.
Onion - We like to use yellow onion, but sweet onion or a white onion will work well too. You can even substitute the onion with leeks.
Mushrooms - Optional but recommended.
Garlic - Fresh chopped garlic cloves is best, but you can substitute with garlic powder.
Potatoes - Russets are our favorite for ham and potato soup, but you can use your favorites. Russets are not as waxy as other potatoes.
Broth - We use chicken broth and prefer no salt added here, but you can use low sodium or even regular broth. Regular adds a bit too much salt for us, but you may like it a little salty. You can use ham broth from boiling down a ham bone, but we prefer it with chicken broth.
Milk - Whole milk is best here because it is thicker then the lower fat milks. There is no heavy cream in soup so you want the milk to not be too thin.
Turmeric - No substitutions recommended.
Red pepper flakes - You can use cayenne pepper in it's place. The red pepper flakes do not make the soup spicy.
Thyme - Dried thyme would be half a teaspoon or you can use 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme.
Flour - We use all purpose flour, it is mixed with milk to thicken the soup.
Making ham and potato soup
In a large pot melt your butter over medium heat. Add in the onions, celery and carrots cooking them for about 7 minutes. Next add in the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, red pepper flakes and turmeric. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes. You can add some salt and pepper, but I recommend waiting until closer to the end of cook time so you can taste it before adding.
Next add in the broth, half of the milk, the ham and the potatoes. Bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. You want to cook it on a low simmer to prevent the milk from separating. If you see that it started to separate with small barely noticeable pieces, your soup will still be ok. Cook covered stirring occasionally at a gentle simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Once the potatoes are fork tender, you need to mix the flour and milk together. I like to start with the flour first and then slowly pour the milk over the flour while mixing using a whisk. Be sure there are no large lumps in the mixture.
Be sure your soup is at a gentle simmer still and raise the heat to medium, keep the lid off. Slowly pour the milk and flour mixture into the soup while stirring constantly. Once all the flour mixture is added, continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes over medium heat stirring often to thicken it. Now would be a great time to carefully taste the ham and potato soup to see if it needs any salt and pepper.
Your soup will thicken to a creamy soup but will not be not real thick. We like to sprinkle chives and shredded cheese over top of ours at the table, but that is optional.
This ham and potato soup goes really well with our cheesy garlic biscuits or even King's Hawaiian Rolls.
You may also want to try our Instant Pot Kielbasa Soup for another delicious comfort food on a cool day.
Frequently asked questions
We recommend adding half of the milk in the beginning mainly because there is only 4 cups of broth which is not a lot compared to the vegetables added. If your broth completely covers the vegetables you can add all the milk at the end.
Yes! It freezes very well. Make sure it is completely cooled down before freezing. I like to freeze it after it sat in the fridge over night to prevent excess moisture. Freeze it in portion sizes you will need. I like to freeze it in 2 cup containers for a quick and easy lunch.
It should last about 3-4 days if stored properly in the fridge.
Hearty Ham and Potato Soup
- Large soup pot
- 3 Tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 3 carrots sliced
- 3 celery sticks chopped
- 1 cup brown mushrooms chopped
- 4 cups potatoes cubed into bite size pieces
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 4 cups ham
- 3 cups milk divided evenly into 1½ cups
- ⅓ cup flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in the pot on medium heat. Add in the onions, celery and carrots. Cook for about 7 minutes.3 Tablespoons butter, 1 large yellow onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery sticks
- Stir in the garlic, mushrooms, turmeric, thyme and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes.1 cup brown mushrooms, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Add the potatoes and ham. Pour the broth and 1½ cups of the milk in and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium low and cover (should keep a gentle simmer, adjust stove if needed.) Cook stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.4 cups potatoes, 4 cups ham, 4 cups chicken broth
- Pour flour into a 4 cup measuring cup or a bowl (measuring cup will be easier to pour.) Slowly pour the remaining 1½ cups milk into the flour while stirring with a whisk. This will help to prevent too many lumps.3 cups milk, ⅓ cup flour
- Take the lid off the soup and turn the burner up to medium, your soup should still be simmering. Slowly pour the milk/flour mixture into the soup while stirring continuously until it is all mixed in. Carefully taste to see if you need to add salt and pepper.Cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes until it is thickened to desired consistency.salt and pepper to taste