Ham Bone Soup

A simple and delicious, bean free version of a traditional recipe!

The secrets to this bean-less and starch free soup are the tarragon and leek. You will be amazed at its unique and rich flavor.

Despite creating something so uncomplicated, this dish has such a special flavor that is nothing like your ordinary ham bone soup.

The traditional way

What’s great about your classic ham bone soup is that it’s perfect for “leftovers” or as a cleaning out your fridge recipe.  If you make ham earlier in the week, you can save the bone and some meat and then throw in whatever vegetables you have around.

However, most ham soups are made with split peas, or white beans, and often have large amounts of potatoes weighing them down.

You know, foods that don’t exactly line up with the Paleo, Keto, or GAPS way of eating. 

I wanted to create a version of the soup that would be accessible to anyone and still utilize plenty of vegetables without overdoing the starch.

My special ingredient!

What really makes this particular ham bone soup shine is my special ingredient!  This particular ingredient is a favorite new herb I’ve been growing in my garden and I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with it in my cooking and baking.

What herb is it?

It is tarragon!

Tarragon has a sweet licorice, mint like flavor and does wonders for this ham bone soup. The fragrant leaves will give foods an anise-like mild licorice flavor.

Tarragon also makes an amazing tea and adds a savory flavor to sweet bread such as pumpkin bread and zucchini bread.

Other benefits of Tarragon

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) has been used pretty regularly in the West and across Asia in foods, salad dressings and teas, and does have some great healing qualities including:

  • Calming upset stomachs.
  • Helping settle nausea, especially when combined with ginger.
  • Promoting restful sleep due to its sedative effects.
  • Lowering blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity.

My other special ingredient

My Ham Bone Soup also has a touch of leeks inside.  

Leeks are part of the allium family which means they are related to foods such as onions, garlic, and scallions.   Actually, they look a little like scallions!

Knowing they are part of this family of food, you can also imagine the type of pungent flavor they have HOWEVER they tend to be more subtle and sweet than its cousins.  

Leeks also carry with them some wonderful health benefits:

  • Support digestion
  • Contain anti-inflammatory properties
  • Potentially protect against certain cancers
  • Protect your heart

A winner all around!

All in all, this recipe is a true hit!  It’s perfect for meal planning and reducing waste since you can have spiraled ham on a Monday and then use up all of your leftover veggies in this recipe on a Thursday… a night we all typically want to skip dinner prep since we are burnt out from a busy week.

I’m so excited for you to try this and can’t wait to hear what you think!

ham bone soup
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Ham Bone Soup (Paleo, GAPS, Keto)

A simple and delicious bean free version of your traditional Ham Bone Soup
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free, keto, keto recipe, low carb, low carb recipe, paleo, paleo recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 50kcal


Bone Broth:

For Soup:

  • 2-3 cups green cabbage sliced, about ½ head of green cabbage
  • 1 cup leeks sliced, about 1 leek
  • 3 carrots large, cut into chunks
  • 3 celery sticks chopped
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon loosely packed or 2 tbsp. dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups cooked ham cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic minced and added during the last 10 minutes


Bone Broth

  • Fill your pot with cold water, then add the ham bone, chopped onion, bay leaves, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar.
  • You can pressure cook these ingredients for 2 hours or alternatively cook the broth in a slow cooker or on the stove top for at least 12 hours or more.


  • Drain the bone, fat pieces, onion, and whatever else was put into the broth.
  • Add all of the chopped vegetables, ginger, tarragon, and cut up ham.
  • Let your soup cook in your slow cooker for another 1-1 ½ hours or alternatively cook this on your stove top for about 30 minutes until the vegetable have softened.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


You can pressure cook the bone broth and then switch to slow cook until you are ready to make your soup.  I’ve made bone broth for up to 40 hours, so don't be afraid of leaving it on!


Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 827mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2732IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg


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