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Recipe: Chef John's Ham and Potato Soup

You can never have too many soup recipes. This hearty soup is definitely filling enough to serve as a main course.

Chef John's Ham And Potato Soup Ingredients

  • 1? pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 medium carrot, diced

  • 1 rib celery, diced

  • 8 ounces smoked ham, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • cup flour

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups water

  • cup heavy cream

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives for garnish

How to Make Chef John's Ham And Potato Soup

  1. Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat until golden brown. Stir in carrot, celery, onion, ham, and garlic; cook and stir for 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables soften and the onions are translucent.

  2. Stir in flour; cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, 1 cup at a time. Add water and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Taste the soup for salt and add more if necessary. Stir in potatoes; cook for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Skim fat if desired.

  4. With a potato masher, mash the soup a few times, leaving plenty of whole chunks of potato. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add cayenne if desired, and add cream. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with fresh chives.

Chef John's Ham And Potato Soup Nutritions

  • Calories: 452.1 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 42.3 g

  • Cholesterol: 74.7 mg

  • Fat: 24.9 g

  • Fiber: 4.1 g

  • Protein: 15.8 g

  • SaturatedFat: 12.7 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 863.6 mg

  • Sugar: 2.2 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Chef John's Ham And Potato Soup Reviews

  • Yum yum yum made almost exactly to the recipe and was very good. The only change I made was to saute the vegies in water instead of butter in order to reduce the fat and calories. I also used evaporated fat free milk instead of heavy cream. def a keeper, thanks for sharking

  • VERY good I doubled the recipe because it said it made four servings. SERIOUSLY? How big are those servings? I have SO much soup left over. Its very rich also so I recommend just a light salad and maybe rolls with this meal I did add some instant potatoes to thicken but otherwise I stuck to the recipe and my family loved it The cayenne definitely added a kick. I added about 1/2 tsp. since it didnt say how much.

  • I made this with very few modifications and it turned out superb. I used my own homemade chicken stock and ham stock which I had leftover in the freezer. I used a little less flour just because 1/4 looked like too much. I didnt have any heavy cream but half and half seemed to work just fine. I didnt add any cayenne pepper because my toddlers arent big on spicy just yet. I did a few drops of Franks RedHot (a cayenne pepper sauce) to my bowl however. Ill be making this comfort food regularly.

  • This was soooo good I had leftover Easter ham that I wanted to start to use up, and im so glad I found this recipe. One change I made based on what I had on hand was that I used 2 cans of potatoes. I also used a can of corn instead of carrots, based on preference. I will be making this again I dont always have ham on hand, so next time I make this, I will be trying it with kielbasa. Thanks for the recipe :)

  • Ive made this recipe a few times now, and whereas I may add some extra seasonings and/or veggies, the basic recipe is fabulous I usually have to make double if I want any for lunch the next day Oh, and use the amount of flour called for if youre looking for something thicker than broth-based soup soup, its a perfect ratio

  • Im what youd consider a non-cook. If it has more than 2 steps Im usually lost. The first time I made this recipe I followed the video recipe for it (found on this site and on Food Wishes). I was so pleasantly surprised when the soup came out exactly as I thought it should. I now make it every week or two and I am as happy with it now as I was back then. Creamy and flavorful without being overpowering, its everything I look for in a comfort food. I do leave out the cayenne now, though its tasty either way. Thats just my personal preference. Dont miss the video. Theres nothing like Chef Johns good humor to make you smile while you cook.

  • I made this with packaged diced ham and it was delicious This soup freezes very well

  • We eat a lot of soup because its the perfect way to camoflauge vegetables for my picky husband. He devoured this recipe. I did make some changes for a soup wed be more accustomed to eating. First, I used chicken broth in place of the water, added another 1/2 pound of potatoes for a thicker soup, and added other herbs/spices such as parsley, paprika, onion powder, and just a tad of chopped jalapenos. (Hey its TX, we live spicy) ;) great soup and a delicious meal

  • I showed my husband the video because it looked so yummy. He made it that day and it was such a delicious comfort food. Loved it.

  • This is so easy and a perfect way to use up the leftover Easter ham. I made a few revisions..used all chicken stock (low sodium) and no water and substituted fat free half and half for the heavy cream. Also, I didnt have any fresh chives, so I added dehydrated chives to the soup (approx. 1 tbsp) the last 15minutes of cooking. My family loved it and my husband said it was one of his favorite soups I make (and I make a lot of soup)

  • Simply perfect for those cold days (Im in South Africa, its winter here). Doubled the recipe, but, thanks to everyone going for second helpings the pot was empty by the end of the day Keeper, no changes needed.

  • This soup was so delicious My teenage boys fought over the last bowl. I used a whole ham steak from the grocery store and the extra ham was great and made it a meal.

  • I made this with leftover Easter ham and didnt even need to use the bone which I had given to my sister. It was great. Wasnt sure how many potatoes to use so I used 4 medium sized ones. I also used the water I had the potatoes soaking in for the water(I know it makes gravy better, so I thought it would flavor & thicken the soup a bit). I didnt have cayenne, so I used a bit of homegrown Serrano pepper flakes. I also didnt have cream, so I used milk and threw in a few handfuls of grated cheddar cheese. This will be a recipe I make again.

  • This soup is like being wrapped in a blanket on a cold winters nightI follow the recipe as is, with ony a slight change or two. Being from MN/WI, everything is better with cheese I usually add a cup or so of shredded sharp cheddar or for a smokier taste with a bland ham Ive used smoked gouda. Also, I love thicker soups (the kind you can mop up with bread) so as the soup bubbles on the stove, I take out a cup or so and let it cool slightly. I then puree it in the blender until smooth and then return it to the pot and incorporate it back in. This really releases the starch and thickens it up nicely. **I usually do the last step with any of my cream-based or thicker soups.**

  • I made this using leftover Easter ham, and would warn folks to be careful not to use the parts heavily glazed. Its like adding a few tablespoons of sugar to the soup. This is a good recipe and Ill definitely make it again.

  • Add this one to your soup repertoire because its super delicious, easy to make, and so comforting on a cool evening. Oh, and only one stockpot to clean. Made exactly as written other than adding a ham hock (discarded after cooking) and replacing salt & pepper with 1/4 teaspoon Sazn seasoning. Added the optional cayenne pepper but omitted the optional chives for garnish. The flavors are so good that this could be converted to a great ham & bean soup by subbing white beans for the potatoes. Superb recipe, Chef John.

  • This is by far the best soup Ive ever made It reminds me of my mothers potato soup, but much more flavor (sorry mom) Will definitely make this again and again

  • Both my husband and I very much enjoyed this soup. Using a good chicken broth (I used homemade and even used broth were water was called for) and a good smoked ham are key. We however prefer a thicker chunkier soup. Next time I will use more potato and more ham. We add cream per individual serving per individuals taste as well as the cayenne. Flavor is fabulous and it is also very easy to make. I used several spoonfuls of instant mashed potato flakes to increase the thickness this time but am hoping next time with more potatoes not to have to do this.

  • Just the "RIGHT AMOUNT" of garlic and spices. Perfect. Cooking it with chicken broth and the cream made it so tasty. Just for the last few minutes, I added whipping cream just until warm, then 1/4 c.of sour cream. Such a great taste. I have made it both ways. You just cant go wrong. We have this at least 2 to 3 times a month. I have also added chopped bacon.

  • We love this recipe I made it for company and my hubby repeatedly and enthusiastically stated that it did not come from a can Lol

  • Excellent I have made this recipe 4 times over the past 3 months and have enjoyed every cup or bowl. Its easy to make and takes minimal time to prepare. Please be advised the Cayenne Pepper is essential. Should you not like spicy soup use 1/4 teaspoon, those more adventurous 1/2 is recommended. Don MacLean

  • Awesome soup---for a little more color I added some frozen peas toward the end and its great with a little grated cheese for garnish or sliced hard boiled eggs Excellent

  • This recipe is the My girlfriend and even my kids loved it. She says its even better than her moms but will NEVER admit she said it lol. The only thing that I really changed was instead of smoke ham I used bacon. I just fried it up in about 1/4" chunks and then added it to my stock pot. I also added some corn as well just to make it a little heavier as a meal. I am actually making it again tonight because both of my kids chose this meal over PIZZA This is not a misprint, they actually chose it over PIZZA. That should say it all about this recipe.

  • Excellent. I followed the recipe exactly and the soup had a really delicious flavor with just a hint of creaminess. I am not a big fan of creamed soups so, this was a winner for me. I used a one pound ham steak and there was plenty of meat to go around. I think the cayenne pepper is pretty key in this soup, I wouldnt leave it out.

  • This was a very easy & VERY GOOD recipe. Had some left over Easter ham cause how much ham can one really eat? Anyway, followed the recipe but added 2 more carrots & 2 more ribs of celery to amp up the veggies. I also subbed more chicken stock/broth for the water. I will be making this one again

  • I mostly did this recipe as written but omitted the water and added ham with the potatoes in step 3. Even so...after mashing a few times...still fairly thin soup. So, I quickly cooked 3 more smallish peeled Idaho potatoes (cubed small) and added those in. Much better I like more potatoes and less liquid. I did add a few more herbs/spices I wanted and did use your normal baking type potatoes. Personally, I dont feel the water is necessary and make a couple more potatoes then called for. Good base but for me, it needed to be less thin and more chunks of potato. Thanks CJ for the good start I forgot, I did add around 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar and really liked that addition. :)

  • I tried this before it was Dec. 2011 review: Excellent soup, even better the second day. I did add more ham, celery and carrots than recipe, but still kept everything else the same. So just a bit chunkier. Used our leftover Christmas ham.

  • Disappointing This had a pretty good flavor, but it wasnt thick and creamy like I had hoped. I followed the recipe exactly. I did add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and thought it added a nice little kick.

  • Love This Soup Will be in our recipe box to make over and over. Followed the recipe except that we were about 3 oz. short on chicken broth, so made it up in beer Added Pale Ale. Turned out awesome Thanks so much

  • I replaced chicken broth with pork stock , and cooked inside the soup 2 whole potatoes that I smashed inside the soup as pure to thicken it a lot more, turn out to be awesome .

  • I am trying to improve my cooking skills and all I can say is this is the BEST soup recipe ever My kids love it and my husband constantly asks for it.

  • Very good soup. Made this for diner this evening using left over ham. Came out very good. I also threw in the ham bone while the soup cooked. I doubled the recipe and substituted milk for the water called in the recipe. Next time i will use a bit more potatoes and ham in the soup.

  • Perfect

  • This soup was delicious I will be making it again.

  • This is the first thing Ive ever reviewed on here, but Ive been using Chef Johns recipes for a long time This soup was so good I had 4 bowls of it for dinner, 2 for breakfast and the rest for lunch I told my kids it came out too spicy and they wouldnt like it, just because I didnt want to share it Im a terrible person The only thing I did differently was throw more onions, celery and carrots in it. Thank you chef John

  • This was to die for good my husband loved it and even gave some out to his work crew 5 star

  • I Substituted Silk Coconut Creamer for heavy cream to avoid the fat and it still was delicious.

  • Followed recipe exactly and it was so flavorful & easy Served with French bread rolls on a chilly fall evening. Easily served four big appetites

  • Thank-you, Chef John This is THE most delish recipe Ive made it at least 3 or four times. Waiting on a potful now I would give it 10 stars but the ratings only go to five Thanks again for sharing

  • On this cold, wintery day in Ohio, this was truly a comfort soup. I doubled the recipe to freeze for another day. It is delicious and I changed nothing. Keep sending us your recipes Chef John, I have not tried any of your recipes to date that have been anything short of wonderful and dependable Jenny in Ohio

  • Simply delish After a very long day at the grocery store, I dreaded the thought of fixing dinner & knew my tootsies were pretty much done in. Then I remembered I had saved Chef Johns Ham & Potato Soup recipe. Saved is right This was easy-peasy to prep, & within the hour, hubby & I were licking ours spoons Served with a side of grilled cheese & beefy tomatoes sandwiches. Perfect ending to a not so perfect day Thanks Chef John

  • Followed the recipe exactly. Love Chef John, but was disappointed in the soup. Know the leftover soup will taste better tomorrow.

  • This soup is so good, made just as Chef John did, except I added more celery and carrots. Was so easy to make and it makes a large pot of soup. I will freeze the left overs, because its just me and my husband.

  • Easy and very good. I used left over ham from Easter dinner. I followed the recipe exactly. I would make this again.

  • Didnt have quite enough potatoes, so instead of running to the store I used some left over french fries (chopped) and some leftover mashed potatoes. Didnt have to use as much flour, because of that. Made this on a rainy day with some cornbread and thumbs up all around. This is a good one for keeps

  • Awesome recipe Even my 2 year old wanted more

  • I have made quite a few soups and have to admit that this wa an execellent one. I only made a minor change which was add an additional cup of chicken broth instead of one of the cups of water. Truly an excellent soup and will warm your tummy on a cool autumn . day. Thanks Chef to look for other soup recipes you have on here.

  • I loved this recipe It was just right for a chilly fall evening. I am most certainly making this again.

  • Ive made this a couple of times already, it is by far the best potato soup I have ever had

  • I rarely review BUT this soup is excellent and needs to be shared as the go to recipe for Potato/Ham soup. It was tasty the first night but just OUTSTANDING the next day. It is perfect for post holiday ham and I followed the recipe fairly close and you can just tweek to your familys likes. Cant go wrong, easy too

  • This soup is my new favorite.

  • Loved it I used turkey ham and it was great. I will certainly make this, again.

  • I think this is a great soup. I realized that I forgot to add the cream. Look forward to the next time I make it and add the cream, I am sure it will be even better.

  • Very good Didnt have celery, so left that out and it was still delicious. Also used a slow cooker to simmer over night after the initial pan work. The color changed to orange rather than the creamy white, perhaps from the carrots and long simmering, but the flavor quite was very deep. Added the cream right before serving.

  • Delicious and perfect ratio of flour to butter. (Ive never gotten this right before) I did Chef Johns recipe but added dried sage, more carrots and a can of black-eyed peas. It was wonderful and got rid of the Easter ham. Thanks, Chef John

  • This is still in the pot finishing up...excellent soup. I had to leave out the onion due to food allergies, added some crushed dehydrated green scallions during the initial cooking process. Even with that change its a great soup...

  • Really a very good soup & another way to use up leftovers :-)

  • Not being fond of the potato soups I have tried in the past, I found myself with 200 lbs of spuds. I thought I might try my hand at soup, thinking it would freeze well. I tried several recipes, without being impressed, until I tried Chef Johns. I have been making it by the gallon and have yet to freeze any. Everyone LOVED it. I used turkey ham in one batch and it was great

  • Chef John scores with another 5 gold star recipe with this one. I made it according to the recipe, including the cayenne pepper. The whole family enjoyed it.Tip: I use sea salt in almost all of my recipes for more flavor. I live at 6500 ft elevation and I had to simmer the potatoes for 25 minutes but thats what Im used to and it isnt a big deal. In the video, Chef John didnt cut off the fat rind from the ham whereas I always have. I dont know why I do that when I make baked beans with raw bacon.Chef John, thanks again for this recipe. I enjoy watching your cooking videos

  • Delicious I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. I will make this again.

  • Most of the ham and potato soup recipes I found online had a 50/50 ratio of chicken broth and milk. I hesitated to make Chef Johns recipe because it is mostly chicken broth and water. Not to worry The final product was thick and flavorful. I wouldnt change a thing Note that I left out the celery because I didnt have any on hand and chose not to peel the potatoes. Yum

  • I had left over ham from Easter dinner that I had cooked in a recipe from this site which included brown sugar. As i was making the soup and test tasting it I found the sweetness of the brown sugr just a tad overpowering so I added a tsp of dill weed (a family favorite) and a bay leaf. It helped decrease the taste of the brow sugar and while the soup was simmering at the end I added a about a tsp of sherry wine vinegar to top things of. My DH who rarely says much about his meals told it was one of the best soups I had ever made. I am going to try this again the way it is intended the next time with the smoked ham and see what he says.

  • Made it tonight while hubby was at work. He loved it. Fantastic

  • 5 STARS - definitely So much flavor For me, the ham added to the flavor. But for the vegetarians in my family I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and left out the ham and they loved it My husband said I was getting to be a better soup maker Thanks to Chef John :)

  • I made a small batch of this as written. It was too bland for me. The next batch I made, I caramelized the onions, ham, and potatoes before adding fresh chicken stock (no water). Why on earth wouldnt you try to extract as much flavor from the ingredients?? Mine turned out with a much better depth of flavor from just a few extra minutes work. Theres no reason that soup cant be more than the sum of its ingredients. Its a perfectly adequate soup as written but I need more flavor in my soup. Thanks Chef John for a jumping off point. :o)

  • This turned out wonderful. Will defiantly be making this again. So far Chef Johns recipes are 2 for 2 with me.

  • This is wonderful. Dont be shy with the cayenne, either. Definitely a keeper.

  • Super delicious Even better the next night

  • Very good soup. I used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of heavy cream and it was still good. Didnt need any additional salt (as long as you dont use low-sodium chicken broth). Used leftover HoneyBaked Ham, so the soup was slightly sweet, which tasted good I didnt use any celery either. Next time I make it I will reduce the water to 1-1/2 cups.

  • This was incredible I brought it to work and got rave reviews and even I LOVED IT - and I generally dont like soup. But following some basic rules (like how to make a rue, correctly), it was thick, creamy and super tasty Thank you Chef John ;)

  • Make it exactly as stated, you wont be disappointed.

  • I made this with packaged diced ham and it was delicious.

  • Highly yummy Good mix of flavors in each spoonful ;)

  • Absolutely delicious

  • This is really good. I did change a couple things though to eliminate dairy and wheat. I used oil instead of butter. Eliminated the cream, and used 2 cups of rice milk mixed with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry instead of a floured roux. I added the milk/cornstarch slurry the last few minutes of cooking and it turned out great. I also added a handful of frozen peas at the end to give this some nice colour contrast and flavour. My kids also loved it which is a huge bonus

  • Yummy This was so good I used regular baking potatoes, leftover ham, homemade chicken broth, and 2% milk instead of the cream. I also mixed in some chopped parsley at the end, which gave it a nice little flash of color. My husband and kids all enjoyed this soup. Will definately be adding to my recipe box and making again

  • What is there to be said? Its delicious Must admit that I used more (like twice) ham. And I was very free with the cayenne pepper. UMMM. Thank you, Chef John.

  • This was delicious...I pretty much followed the recipe, but used red and yellow pepper because I did not have carrots. I also used half and half because I did not have heavy cream and it was fantastic. I also added asparagus...Yumm This would be great after Easter

  • Have made this several times. Great One of my families favorites, just the way it is.Super for these cold IA. winters.

  • I swear this soup just cured a horrible cold Ive been suffering with for four days Best part about this is the simple ingredients, yet the taste is rich. Not too filling like many potato soups, yet hearty enough to be a meal in itself. I followed the recipe exactly, though doubled it so have plenty to freeze. Thank you, "Chef John" Even the pickiest eaters in my household loved it.

  • I thought this was very good. Aside from my scalloped potatoes with ham, I was trying to think of another way to use up my ham and this was perfect. I also added corn the next day. I will be making it again.

  • This is an excellent (and simple) recipe with layers of flavor and a bit of french technique. Not a creamy version but once you taste what browned butter and fresh ingredients produce youll wonder why you havent done this before. A solid recipe that can be built on with substitutions or additions (smoked Salmon Potato and Asparagus soup perhaps) Made this exactly as written and everyone went back for seconds. Makes plenty for four with leftover to lunch on later. This is a keeper. Be sure to brown the butter. Yum

  • Love it,more stars

  • This is a excellent hearty soup. The only change I made was making a ham bone broth instead of the chicken broth. When we finish a ham with bone I usually make bean soup. This time I simmered the ham/bone in about 6 cups water about 1 1/2 hr. then remove ham from the bone. Then I followed Chef Johns recipe. By the way, Yukon gold potatoes are the best even though its noted any potato can be used. Yummy is right

  • This is a great soup. I followed Chef Johns recipe adding fresh, large chunks of cauliflower when I added the potatoes. A bowl is a meal. Hearty. The touch of cayenne, which I normally skip in recipes, was perfect.

  • Made this soup last night with a batch of cheddar galic rolls, very good

  • Love, love this soup

  • Doubled recipe. Used up some nice thick smoked bacon. Added to soup and used drippings along with some butter to saut some had noted my soup turned out a little "thin". To thicken it I heated up an individual serving until it was starting to boil. Took it off the heat and added some Idahoan brand instant mashed potatoes. I eye balled the amount stirred it added a little more stirred again and it was TERRIFIC. I am not sure how well the addition would freeze so I plan to add after I thaw a portion.

  • I loved it. Its so easy to make and so good to eat. Ill be making this over and over again.

  • I made this today for the first time ever (Ive never made soup before besides from a can), and my hubby loved it. I know a meal is a hit when he keeps complimenting it for an hour or two after hes done eating. That happened today. I did not put any celery or milk in it because I didnt have either, but my hubby agreed celery would be a nice touch in it. The milk is not needed, though. I am only giving this four stars because this isnt a recipe that blew us over, but it is very good and will be added to my rotation of "now and then" foods.

  • Yummy. I added crispy shredded bacon and carrots and a few shrooms but otherwise totally followed recipe. BTW Chef John- how do you get an Art Major off your doorstep? Offer to pay for the Pizarro Am not a smarty pants, just the mother of a San Francisco Sous Chef. When ever she is here (not very often as I an sure you know) and I yell for help she just walks in and says, "Oh mom just do this, " turns and walks out.

  • This was nice and thick. I used 6 potatoes. However I felt like I spent a lot of time at the stove. Next time I think Ill try the slow cooker recipe on site.

  • WIth our leftover Easter ham, I tried this recipe. My husband and children loved it I probably put more celery and onion than listed, but otherwise stuck with the recipe. My family isnt big on soups, but they asked for seconds and to have this soup again. Simple, easy, and filling. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks Chef John

  • Made this tonight for my grandchildren,whom,i am thankful,are not picky eaters ages seven,five, and 4.they have pronounced this a keeper wiped bowls clean with biscuits and asked for seconds.

  • Everyone loved the soup, no leftovers

  • While good, it was a bit time consuming to make. Everyone in the family prefers "Delicious Ham and Potato Soup" over this one.

  • I really enjoyed this soup, perfect consistency. Not too heavy, not too light. Great flavor and easy to follow directions. YUM.

  • This was really good I followed the directions, just doubled them for my family of six. Also, used half and half instead of heavy cream. Served it with shredded cheddar cheeses and croutons like they do at our local steakhouse. It was great

  • Super easy to make, great flavor, excellent recipe

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