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!
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!
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.
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!