What To Do With a Ham Bone Besides Making Bean Soup

My husband and kids love a good glazed, spiral-sliced ham to celebrate Easter or Christmas, but my husband is not a fan of the traditional ham and bean soup that is often made from the leftover ham bone. Last year, after I placed our Christmas ham bone in the freezer, I was determined to find a different recipe for the ham bone. I found this Cheesy Broccoli and Ham Soup at Diane’s Family Recipes, and it was an instant winner.

Our leftover glazed ham bone added a nice hint of sweet flavor to this soup, and the broth is rich and creamy. Be warned that it makes a ton of soup, and your Dutch oven will be full to the top. That makes this soup ideal for a crowd or for a large family.

If you aren’t feeding a crowd or if you want to make some freezer meals, you can easily divide this soup into more manageable portions that you can store in the freezer. To do so, go through all the steps except for adding the cream, milk, and cheese. Divide the soup in half, or divide it four ways, and freeze the soup without those ingredients. When you’re ready to use the soup, thaw the amount you want to eat and heat it in a pot on the stove. Then add the corresponding amount of cream, milk, and cheese (half or 1/4 of what the recipe calls for, for example).

Cheesy Broccoli and Ham Soup


1 ham bone with about 1 and a half cups of meat still attached

2 quarts of water

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 to 4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped

1 quart heavy whipping cream

2 cups milk

12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese


Place the ham and 2 quarts of water in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil, allowing it to simmer for 3 hours. At the end of three hours, leave the cooking liquid in the pot and pull out the ham. Chop the ham into bite-sized pieces. It should be very tender and easy to cut. Add the diced ham back to the pot.

Add the chopped onion, dry mustard, black pepper, and broccoli to the Dutch oven and cook on medium heat until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and milk and heat thoroughly, stirring constantly. Add the cheese and stir until it’s melted and well blended.


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