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Ham Bone Soup at

In my previous post, I made Double Smoke Apple Maple Ham for some guests. When I had finally carved the last scrap of meat off the bone, I was left with a nice big ham bone. If you usually throw that bone away, cut that out!

A ham bone isn’t just food, it is a big hunk of delicious flavour if you take the time to use it. There are many dishes you can make out of it, pea soup, red beans and rice, and Habitant soup just to name a few. I decided to go with just a basic Ham Bone Soup. A word about making soup with ham, ham is salty. Do not add any salt until the soup has finished and you have tasted it. I doubt you will need any.

I cut a medium onion into large chunks, crushed two cloves of garlic and put them in a pot with the ham bone. I added some fresh ground pepper and 1 1/2 litres (6 cups) of water. I brought the water to a boil, reduced the heat and covered the pot. I simmered the bone for 3 hours.


I strained the soup off the bone and onions and put it back in the pot.

I added cubed ham, soy sauce, rosemary, basil, thyme and savory. I simmered for 30 minutes.

I added berbere spice or chili powder, cubed carrots and green beans and simmered for 20 minutes.

I added soup pasta and simmered for 30 minutes.


Defat the soup by skimming or let it cool and remove the solid fat.

Taste and add adjust spicesĀ if needed.

The Verdict

Spicy, salty, meaty, what’s not to like? This is real comfort food on a cold fall day and I didn’t waste my ham bone!

The Old Fat Guy

Ham Bone Soup

Ham Bone Soup


  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 medium onion, cut in chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) coarse ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 litres (6 cups) water
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) cubed ham
  • 250 ml (1 cup) carrots, cubed
  • 250 ml (1 cup) green beans, cubed
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) berbere spice or chilli powder
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried rosemary
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried basil
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried thyme
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried savory
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) soup noodles or vermicelli broken into short pieces


  1. Put bone, onion, garlic, water and pepper in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
  4. Strain the bones and onions out and put soup back in the pot.
  5. Add the soy sauce, ham, rosemary, basil, thyme, and savory. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the carrots, beans and berbere spice or chili powder. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Add the noodles and simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove any fat, adjust the seasoning and serve.
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