Ham Bone Soup with Great Northern Beans and Kale

I made my first ham ever this past Thanksgiving, and it was everything! My husband and I ate ham for days—I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier (mostly kidding)—but all good things must come to an end. I was left with a nice and meaty ham bone and no desire to eat ham again for a loooong time, so I wrapped it up and popped it into the freezer. I just knew I would find a recipe I could use it in. This Ham Bone Soup with Great Northern Beans and Kale recipe is it.

This post was originally published on January 29, 2018. The text and photos were updated on January 14, 2022. The review and rating have not been changed.

Rich in flavor, this hearty Ham Bone Soup with white beans and kale is the perfect comfort food for a chilly or damp and rainy day!

Recipe Author: Michelle at A Dish of Daily Life
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The Ingredients

The first time I made this recipe, the timing was perfect. I had a leftover ham bone in the freezer and leftover kale and carrots from the Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup I made the previous week. Three large kale leaves and three medium carrots worked nicely for this recipe. I only had to buy the canned great northern beans, onions, and some bacon for this soup recipe. By the way, although I thought I would need 2 onions, it turns out one large onion was just the right amount.

When I decided to update this post, I had the ham bone, bacon, carrots, and onions on hand. I couldn’t find curly kale, so I substituted baby kale. It came pre-washed, and I didn’t have to stem it. It was a great timesaver!

Ham Bone Soup with White Beans and Kale Ingredients
Hambone, onions, baby kale, carrots, salt, bacon, and great northern beans

The Process

This ham bone soup recipe is time-consuming, but most of that is inactive while you wait for things to simmer. I spent just over 2 hours total making it. The directions were clear and easy to follow, and a 5-quart pot was plenty big for this recipe.

You will have to puree the broth and vegetables (step 5). The first time I made this soup, I ladled it out of the cooking pot and into my blender a little at a time. I found out very quickly to do this in small batches and place a folded dish towel over the lid while blending because it’s a hot liquid that splashes.

Fortunately, I have acquired an immersion blender and can now blend the soup in the pot. It’s so much quicker and safer. Plus I don’t have to wash my blender afterward. I’m always for fewer dishes to wash!

I wasn’t sure of was how easy it would be to remove the ham from the bone. It turns out the ham was incredibly tender after simmering for almost 2 hours. It came right off the bone with almost no effort. I just used a fork to gently pull it away from the bone.

Stripping the ham off the bone after simmering for an hour
Stripping the ham off the bone after simmering for an hour

Finally, there’s the seasoning. Or, should I say, the almost lack of. The only seasoning in this recipe is salt, and that’s at the bottom of the ingredient list. It’s not even mentioned in the instructions, so I waited until the soup was done cooking before checking to see if it was needed. I figured the bacon and ham would provide some salt, and I was right. The soup was pretty close to perfect, so all I added were 2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt.

Serving the Ham Bone Soup

This soup recipe practically begs to be served with biscuits to dip in the delicious broth. Fortunately, I found an easy and delicious biscuit recipe that used ingredients I had on hand. It only took 20 minutes to make and bake, and I highly recommend it!

Homemade biscuits, the perfect side to a hearty soup or stew
Homemade biscuits, the perfect side to a hearty soup or stew

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
Appearance
Taste
This deceivingly simple recipe makes one of the best ham and bean soups I have ever tried! Simmering a leftover ham bone for nearly 2 hours creates a savory broth. Add great northern beans, kale, carrots, and onion, and you get a big batch of comfort food you can nibble on for days. The list of ingredients is short, the directions are easy to follow, and the only special equipment needed is a blender. I recommend doubling up on the beans, but otherwise, this recipe is divine.
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Candice
Candicehttps://www.hungrypinner.com
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.

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Ham Bone Soup with Great Northern Beans and KaleThis deceivingly simple recipe makes one of the best ham and bean soups I have ever tried! Simmering a leftover ham bone for nearly 2 hours creates a savory broth. Add great northern beans, kale, carrots, and onion, and you get a big batch of comfort food you can nibble on for days. The list of ingredients is short, the directions are easy to follow, and the only special equipment needed is a blender. I recommend doubling up on the beans, but otherwise, this recipe is divine.