Shake up your ham and bean soup with this Puerto Rican ham bone soup with beans and vegetables. You will love this excellent soup, which we know as Christmas Ham Bone Soup. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
📰Introduction and My Rating
This has been a standard at our house for years. We are the only ones calling it Christmas soup, but I’m sticking with the name since that is when we usually make it.
We all love our a good ham and white bean soup, and my ham vegetable soup is also a great hearty meal. But this soup brings some definite change of pace with the seasoning that makes my wife as for this one most commonly.
I originally called this recipe “Puerto Rican Chuletón Soup AKA Xmas Ham Bone Soup” but shortened the name.
Based on a recipe from a children’s book “Everybody Serves Soup” by Norah Dooley. I should have guessed the origin with two children librarians in the family (wife and a daughter).
It is very good with thick and hammy taste.
🐖 Ham Bone
If your ham is covered with a sugary coat of some type, rinse off as much as possible under running water before starting.
Also, there is usually a coating of fat over a lot of the ham. Cut or scrape it off.
Do I Need Chicken Broth?
Like all my ham soups anymore, I just use water with the ham to make the broth. I don’t see the need to use chicken broth, which will add salt. There is plenty of that is the ham already.
The Beans and Vegetables
The original recipe calls for pigeon beans… not in West Michigan. I see this as your option to make the soup what you want. I used black and navy beans.
When you cover the ham with water, measure it. The vegetables are set for about 6 cups of water. If you need a lot more, increase the vegetables and beans proportionally.
♨️Can I Do This in a Crock Pot?
This is a stovetop recipe but can be done easily in a crock pot. Add everything at the beginning. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, then remove the ham and strip the meat. Add the meat back and cook for another 1-2 hours until potatoes and carrots are tender.
🖊️Storage and Other Notes
I prefer to cool in the refrigerator overnight then skim the fat before serving but not required.
The sodium can get very high on this soup. Ham is high in sodium, some more than others. Use low sodium beans and rinse them. Finally, never add salt to a ham soup until near the end, and you are absolutely sure it is needed.
We had a very large ham with lots of meat on it for the pictures. It took 12 cups of water to cover the bone reasonable, so I increased all other ingredients proportionally. I ended up with an enormous amount of soup. Half is in the freeze.
Good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Good frozen for 3-4 months.
This is so NOT cooking for two friendly unless you have freezer space or a crowd coming for dinner.
📖 Ham Soup Recipes
🖼️ Photo Instructions
Rinse the ham under running water if there is a sugary coating. Also, if there are large chunks of fat, then trim them some.
Cover the ham most of the way with water. Measure water and increase all other ingredients proportionally. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and then decrease to low and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.
Peel and chop potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces. Chop onions.
After the ham is cooled a bit, hand clean and shred into bite-size pieces.
Add all ingredients back to the broth. Bring to boil with medium-high heat then decrease to simmer for 1-2 hours until potatoes and carrots are done.
Cool in the refrigerator overnight then skim the fat before serving is recommended but not required.
Editor’s Note: Originally Published February 3, 2011. Updated with newly edited pictures, expanded discussion with more details, and a jump table.