The Best Pennsylvania Dutch Ham, Green Bean and Potato Soup – This reboot of an old Pennsylvania Dutch standard will make you a believer – and hungry for a second bowl…
I know it’s a little audacious of me to suggest that my recipe for Ham, Green Bean and Potato Soup is the best. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve ever made such a blanket-statement claim on this blog, but I really believe that I took this humble recipe and turned it into something awesome!
My husband, being raised in Amish Country, scoffed when I told him that I was making this soup. He seriously questioned my culinary judgement when I then told him that I was making it for the blog. He was raised on this stuff and recalls being forced to eat flavorless watery bowls filled with leftover Easter ham, mushy potatoes, and canned green beans.
I reassured him that my version of this soup would be neither watery, flavorless, nor mushy. Honestly, this soup is super simple and easy to make. All it took was a few additions to the traditional recipe to tie this soup together and make it something you’ll actually want a second bowl of.
The first change was starting with a flavorful base by softening onions and garlic in bacon grease and swapping the water with chicken broth. The second change that obviously had to happen was substituting canned green beans with frozen. Fresh would be even better, but I always end up making this soup with leftover Christmas or Easter ham, when green beans aren’t in season.
The final addition is bowtie noodles (a.k.a. farfalle pasta). This is the change Mr. Simple Seasonal really questioned. I guess in all his years growing up in Dutch Country he had never encountered noodles in his ham soup. Once he tasted the soup he was easily sold on the addition because the starch from the pasta thickens the broth, and the pasta itself added another great texture to the soup.
So if you’ve got some leftover ham on your hands I know you’re going to love this hearty and flavorful version of Pennsylvania Dutch Ham, Green Bean and Potato Soup. It really is the best (and second-bowl worthy)!
- 2 Tbsp reserved bacon grease
- 1 C chopped sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 C chopped ham
- 2 C frozen green beans
- 2 C chopped red potatoes
- 2 C bow tie Pasta (a.k.a. farfalle)
- 7 C chicken broth
- In a large pot or a dutch oven, sauté the sweet onion in the reserved bacon grease for 3 minutes. If you plan ahead you can freeze leftover bacon grease from another meal to use in this soup.
- Once the onions are softened add the 3 cloves of minced garlic to the pot and cook an additional minute.
- Next, dump the remainder of the ingredients into the pot and cook over high heat until the soup comes to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat to achieve a gentle boil. Simmer for 17-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More Leftover Ham Recipes…