This is the first year our family isn’t traveling home for Christmas. We decided to stay put and have our own family Christmas, and I’m actually really excited about it! Anyone who has traveled with kids–especially during the holidays–knows it’s not really a vacation. Although it’s fun, it’s usually stressful and we’re always exhausted when we get home.
Since our kids are so young we’re excited to start our own Christmas traditions and the debate includes what we should eat for Christmas Eve dinner. My family always does “surf and turf” with king crab legs and flank steak. My husband’s family always does lasagna. So we’re a little torn on which direction we’re headed. I’ve suggested a traditional ham Christmas dinner. I’d use my favorite Au Gratin Potatoes, and my mom’s Apple Cranberry Fruit Salad for a side, with Homemade Sparkling Apple Cider to drink.
What do you do for Christmas Eve dinner?
Whether we decided on a ham dinner or not, I’ll definitely be buying a ham to make ham sandwiches, and use the leftovers to make this Slow Cooker Leftover Ham Bone Soup. Since it slow cooks for so long all of the flavors are delicious. Plus it’s healthy and loaded with vegetables. Perfect for the holidays and this cooler weather. My husband raved and raved about this soup and my kids liked it too.
- 1 leftover ham bone
- 7 cups water
- 20 whole peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 5-6 pieces of bacon
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 large celery ribs chopped
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 russet potato peeled and diced
- 2 cans great northern beans rinsed and drained
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups leftover diced ham
Place the ham bone, water, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic in your slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours (if you want to, overnight) or HIGH for 3.5 hours.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove to plate. Get rid of most of the grease, reserving just a little in the pan. Add the chopped onion, celery, zucchini, carrots, and potato to the pan and saute for a few minutes.
Remove the ham bone from the slow cooker. Remove any meat from it. Add the chopped ham (and any pulled from the bone), sautéed veggies, cooked bacon, and the remaining ingredients back to the broth in the slow cooker. Taste and add a little more of the spices, if needed. Cook on LOW for 2-3 more hours.
Have more leftover ham? Try some of my favorite leftover ham recipes: