Ham and Potato Soup

This Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup is so creamy and easy to make! It’s the BEST way to make use of leftover ham and can be made with or without a ham bone.  Make it on the Stove Top or in the Slow Cooker!

Be sure to try my recipes for Ham Casserole, Ham and Bean Soup, and Split Pea Soup next!

A wooden spoon scooping up creamy ham and potato soup topped with chives.

Ham and Potato Soup

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of this super creamy, extra cheesy Ham and Potato Soup. The secret here that makes this soup different than the rest is that you add mashed potatoes to the soup instead of cubed potatoes. (Trust me. It makes all the difference.)

From there, you can blend it to make it extra smooth. After that, it’s easy to add in frozen peas, corn, carrots, or whatever you like! Or keep it simple with savory bites of ham, melted cheese, and chives. You just can’t go wrong with this restaurant-quality soup recipe.

Scroll down to see what you’ll need, and how easy it is to make! (Plus Crock Pot instructions and PRO tips that you should definitely check out.)

Ingredients

The bottom of this post also contains recipe card with ingredients and full instructions.

  • Yukon Golden or Russet Potatoes
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Yellow Onion
  • Celery
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Half and Half
  • Dried Thyme
  • Onion Powder
  • Ground Sage, optional
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Chives

How to Make It

Gently boil cubed mashed potatoes in a pot until very fork tender. Drain and mash with 1 TBS butter and a splash of half and half.

Potatoes in a pot before and after being mashed.

While the potatoes cook, saute onion and celery in a pot with butter for 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, onion powder, and sage. Cook for 1 minute, then add flour. Cook for 1 more minute.

Diced onions and celery being cooked in a pot with butter and tossed with flour.

Add chicken broth, half and half, and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the mashed potatoes. 

Creamy broth in a pot for making ham and potato soup with potatoes being added.

Blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches until smooth and combined. (This is optional but it makes the soup so thick and creamy!) Add the diced ham and simmer until you’re ready to serve.

An immersion blender in a pot of soup with ham being added for ham and potato soup.

Remove from heat and gradually sprinkle in the cheese and stir to combine. Make sure the soup isn’t too hot when you do this or the dairy in the cheese will separate and become grainy instead of smooth. 

Garnish with chives and serve!

Shredded cheese being added to finish making ham and potato soup.

Pro Tips

  • Shred the cheese from a block so that it melts nice and creamy. Bagged shredded cheese contains cellulose which prevents it from clumping together in the bag, but it also prevents it from melting as well.
  • This is the cheese I always use, it tastes great and melts super creamy.
  • Always add the cheese at the end when the soup has been removed from the heat. If the broth is too hot when added, the dairy separates and ends up being grainy. Add it gradually to a warm base for creamy results!
  • If you have a ham bone, let it simmer in 4-5 cups of water for a few hours, bubbling gently, until it reduces. Use 3 cups of the ham broth instead of chicken broth. (You may also add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, a bay leaf, etc. to create an even more flavorful stock.)
  • The flour helps create a thicker base but it can be omitted if necessary.
  • If you prefer cubed potatoes instead of mashed, red potatoes are ideal as they hold up best in soup. Add them after you bring the soup to boil and reduce to a simmer and cook them in the broth until fork tender, about 40 minutes. (But I highly recommend you try the mash & blend method, it’s so thick and creamy!)
  • Frozen corn and/or peas can also be added at the end!

A spoon scooping up ham and potato soup with chives from a white bowl.

Crock Pot Method

  • Lightly boil cubed potatoes. Drain and combine with 1 TBS butter and a splash of half and half. Mash gently.
  • Sauté the onions and celery in 3 TBS Butter. Add garlic and seasonings and cook for 1 more minute. Toss with flour, cook for 1 more minute.
  • Transfer to the Slow Cooker. Add the chicken broth, ham, and mashed potatoes. Stir until well combined.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.
  • Warm up the half and half for 45 seconds. Slowly add it to the Crock Pot, stirring as you do so. Use an immersion blender to mix until smooth and well-combined.
  • Remove from heat. Slowly sprinkle in the shredded cheese and stir to combine until smooth.
  • Garnish with chives and serve!

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup freezes very well.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)

  • Immersion Blender  For blending soups and sauces right in the pot without transferring to a blender. (Highly recommend!)
  • Kitchen Scale To weigh the potatoes for the soup, super handy for following recipes.
  • 3.5 Quart Dutch Oven I make everything in this! I use Le Creuset but this is a more economical option that’s still good quality.
  • Box Cheese Grater
  • Garlic Twister (always use fresh garlic instead of jarred!)

Try These Next

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A soup ladle scooping up ham and potato soup from a soup pot.

Tried This Recipe?

Leave a review, I love hearing your feedback! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ham and Potato Soup

5 from 15 votes
Make this Ham and Potato Soup on the Stove Top or in the Slow Cooker, it's the best way to use up leftover ham and can be made with or without a ham bone!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Yukon Golden Potatoes, about 4 medium potatoes
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
  • 1 small yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, diced
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 3 cups low sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Half and Half, plus and extra splash
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch ground sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, to garnish

Instructions

  • Shred the cheese from a block, measure out the half and half. Let them all sit out at room temperature.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add to a stock pot and cover the potatoes with 1 inch of water. Add the salt and boil gently for 10 minutes or until very fork tender. Drain, then gently mash. Stir in 2 TBS Butter and a splash of half and half. Set aside.
  • While the potatoes boil, melt the 3 TBS butter in a large soup pot and add the onions and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp onion powder, and a pinch of ground sage. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour and use a silicone spatula to stir for 1 full minute to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Add the chicken broth and bay leaf. Slowly stir in the half and half. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and stir them until combined into the soup. Discard the bay leaf.
  • Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the broth until very creamy and combined. You can also use a blender and blend in batches. Blending is optional but makes the soup so thick and creamy.
  • Add in the diced ham and stir to combine. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until ready to serve.
  • Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the cheese gradually over the warm (not hot!) base and stir until melted and combined. Taste and season with salt/pepper if desired.
  • Garnish with chives and serve!

Notes

**If you prefer cubed potatoes instead of mashing and incorporating into the broth, red potatoes are ideal as they hold up best in soup. Add them after you bring the soup to boil and reduce to a simmer and cook them in the broth until fork tender, about 40 minutes.

1 8oz. steak = about 1 ¼ cups diced ham.

Crock Pot Instructions:

  • Lightly boil cubed potatoes. Drain and combine with 1 TBS butter and a splash of half and half. Mash gently.
  • Sauté the onions and celery in 3 TBS Butter. Add garlic and seasonings and cook for 1 more minute. Toss with flour, cook for 1 more minute.
  • Transfer to the Slow Cooker. Add the chicken broth, ham, and mashed potatoes. Stir until well combined.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8.
  • Temper the half and half in the microwave until warm. Slowly add it to the Crock Pot, stirring as you do so. Use an immersion blender to mix until smooth and well-combined.
  • Remove from heat. Slowly sprinkle in the shredded cheese and stir to combine until smooth.
  • Garnish with chives and serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 189mg, Potassium: 548mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 605IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 235mg, Iron: 1mg