Ham and Potato Soup

$11.24 recipe / $1.40 serving
by Jess Rice
5 from 7 votes
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These hot and cold spring days have me feeling all kinds of confused about what to make for dinner. One day it’s warm and sunny, and the next it feels like winter all over again. But no matter the mood, I feel like soup is always the right answer, and this Ham and Potato Soup is a crowd pleaser. Creamy but not too heavy, and loaded with fresh veggies and salty ham, this soup is perfect for this transitional season!

a ladleful of ham and potato soup suspended over a pot of soup.

What is Ham and Potato Soup?

This rich and creamy soup is made from a base of vegetable broth enriched with milk and butter and stuffed to the brim with fresh veggies, chunky potatoes, and salty ham. It’s real belly-warming food, perfect for taking the chill off!

Ingredients for Ham and Potato Soup

Here’s what you’ll need to make ham and potato soup:

  • Oil: I used olive oil, but a neutral-flavored oil like canola or vegetable oil will also work well.
  • Mirepoix: A base of celery, carrots, and onion builds the flavor of this soup.
  • Potatoes: I used 2 medium potatoes, which came out to be 3 1/2 cups once diced. I prefer to peel my potatoes for this recipe, but you can leave the skins on if you like them!
  • Cooked Ham: You can buy a ham steak or use your leftover ham from our Baked Ham recipe! Vegetarian? No problem. You can leave out the ham and this becomes more of a vegetable chowder and it is delicious!
  • Vegetable Broth: You’ll need 6 cups, or you can dissolve 2 Tbsp of vegetable bouillon in 6 cups of water. You can also use Chicken Broth if that’s what you have on hand!
  • Salted Butter: Adds richness and helps form the roux that thickens the soup.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Combines with the butter to form a roux that thickens the soup.
  • Milk: Adds creaminess to the soup.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the overall flavor of the soup.
  • Parsley: A bit of minced fresh parsley adds some color and freshness to the soup.

What Potatoes Are Best For Soup?

The best potato for any given soup really depends on the texture you’re after.

  • With this soup, I wanted to keep distinct chunks of intact potato, so I went for red potatoes. Other varieties that hold their shape well include new potatoes, baby potatoes, and fingerlings.
  • If you’re looking for your potatoes to soften up a bit more but still mostly hold their shape, Yukon Golds are a great choice for this soup.
  • Starchier potatoes, like Russets, will melt into the soup, making it super thick, but you won’t get the whole potato texture in every bite.

A Note on Salt

You may not need any salt depending on the ham you’re using, so taste often and adjust as you see fit. Between the salted butter, bouillon, and the ham from our Baked Ham recipe, I didn’t have a need for more than a pinch of additional salt.

How Do You Thicken Ham and Potato SOup?

I chose to thicken this soup with what’s known as a “blonde roux.” It’s a mixture of butter and flour that is cooked over medium-low heat until it juuust starts to change color from white to blonde. This deepens the flavor of the soup without overpowering the natural flavor of the other ingredients.

three-quarters view of a serving of ham and potato soup in a white bowl.
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Ham and Potato Soup

5 from 7 votes
This ham and potato soup is creamy but not too heavy and loaded with fresh veggies and salty ham. It's perfect for the seasonal transition!
Author: Jess Rice
a ladleful of ham and potato soup suspended over a pot of soup.
Servings 8 (1.5 cups each)
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.34)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced ($0.20)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced ($0.30)
  • 1 small white onion, diced ($1.02)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (roughly 3½ cups) ($1.66)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.53)
  • 2 cups cooked diced ham ($6.38)
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter ($0.24)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ($0.05)
  • 2 cups milk ($0.38)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley ($0.08)
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • Salt, to taste ($0.01)
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Instructions 

  • In the stock pot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook down until slightly softened and the onions are nice and glossy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and ham in the stockpot. Bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and let the potatoes simmer for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Stir in the pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a separate medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. (Note: this is a “blonde roux” so you don’t want the flour to toast too much!) Whisk in milk and cook for about 4 minutes until thick and warm.
  • Pour milk/roux mixture into the stockpot with ham soup and whisk to combine. Cook until all vegetables reach desired tenderness and soup thickens to your liking, another 10 minutes should do it. Add the parsley, additional salt and pepper if needed and enjoy!

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Equipment

Notes

This makes 12 cups of soup, but we found 1 1/2 cups to be perfect for a meal, so if that’s your serving size, you can serve 8 people.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 9gFat: 11gSodium: 1109mgFiber: 2g
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overhead view of ham and potato soup in a white dutch oven.

how to make Ham and Potato Soup – step by step photos

chopped celery, carrots, and onions in s white dutch oven.

In your stock pot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add 2 peeled and diced carrots, 3 diced stalks celery, and 1 diced small white onion and cook down until slightly softened and the onions are nice and glossy, about 5 minutes.

broth poured over mirepoix, potatoes, and ham in a dutch oven.

Add 2 peeled and diced potatoes, 6 cups vegetable broth, and 2 cups diced cooked ham in the stockpot. Bring to a boil; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in your 1 tsp black pepper.

milk poured over butter and flour paste in a frying pan with a whisk.

Melt 2 Tbsp salted butter in a separate medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. (Note: this is a “blonde roux” so you don’t want the flour to toast too much!) Whisk in 2 cups milk and cook for about 4 minutes until thick and warm.

ham and potato soup in a dutch oven.

Pour milk/roux mixture into the stockpot with ham soup and whisk to combine. Cook until all vegetables reach desired tenderness and soup thickens to your liking, another 10 minutes should do it. Add parsley, additional salt, and pepper if needed and enjoy!

overhead view of a spoonful of ham and potato soup suspended above a serving of soup in a white bowl.

This creamy ham and potato soup is perfect for the changing seasons!

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Comments

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  1. This is a winner! One of the best soups and husband agreed, requesting I make it again. Did all the prep work in the morning and put it together quickly in the afternoon. Served with Budget Bytes Dinner Rolls – another winner! The only changes I made were to substitute the veg broth with chicken broth and added fresh chopped broccoli. Thanks for a great meal!

  2. I have my ham bone leftover from Easter in the freezer-I usually use it to make ham broth for soup. Can I use that in place of vegetable broth in this recipe or would it come out too salty?

    1. Go for it! I wouldn’t think it would be too salty but you should definitely hold off on adding salt until the end to be sure.

  3. Delicious! My husband is not much of a soup person, but he said this was tasty. I also adied asparagus with the potatoes.

  4. Absolutely delicious and easy to assemble! Great way to use leftover smoked ham and simple ingredients that I have around the house :)

  5. Made this two nights ago with leftover Easter smoked ham. It came together quickly. Subbed chicken broth for veg broth and added a 1/4tsp smoked paprika. No additional salt added.
    Every one just loved it.

  6. Just made this recipe with leftover Easter ham, and it’s a big hit with my family! I’m wondering if this basic soup recipe can be made with chicken or turkey instead of ham instead.

  7. I made this last night with leftover ham I had frozen from Christmas. It turned out better than the actual Christmas dinner imo! Pork recipes can be hit or miss with my taste buds, but this was an easy, creamy delicious-broth winner. ♡ I love that it was all ingredients I had on hand already.

  8. Thank you for another quick & flavorful recipe. It’s great for leftover ham usage!

    Instead of milk when making the roux, I used 2 cups of of half & half cream. I always find that substitution to yield an extra-rich flavor with any cream soup recipe. My servings were accompanied by warm and flaky croissants, along with a side dish of cold/assorted fruit chunks. The fruit really helped to balance out any natural saltiness from the ham.

  9. Was curious if this will freeze well. I’ve never tried freezing a soup with a roux and the articles I’ve looked up seem inconclusive.

    1. We haven’t tried freezing it, unfortunately! Historically, soups with a lot of dairy tend to separate a bit after freezing, but you’re welcome to give it a try!

    2. The Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Soup from this site is my favorite soup and has a lot of dairy. When I freeze then thaw it, I make sure to whisk it as it reheats and the texture comes out fine. It doesn’t really impact the taste or mouthfeel for me personally.