Sweet Potato, Ham and Kale Soup with Rosemary

By Amanda Paa – Updated October 22, 2021
5 from 1 vote
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Yesterday I got to spend a little time with the crew at Twin Cities Live talking about 3 easy ways to use Leftover Ham that move beyond the usual suspects of tossing it into a hash or adding it to a grilled cheese sandwich. Not that those aren’t completely delicious, but it’s always fun to expand our recipe boxes right?

I think when it comes to leftovers, most people are either cheerleaders or they stick their noses up at them. Maybe because they feel like it’s not that different than the original way it was served? But I’d say this sweet potato, ham and kale soup is a welcomed twist.

Sweet Potato, Ham & Kale Soup with Rosemary | Paleo, AIP, Gluten-Free
simple & delicious - Sweet Potato, Ham & Kale Soup

3 Tips for Making Amazing Homemade Soup

  • As I’ve watched and helped others cook, I’ve noticed that most are quite shy with salt and end up thinking the recipe wasn’t a very good one – or they add it at the very end of cooking so it did not have a chance to infuse the other ingredients.
  • Adding salt while the onions are sautéing with the rosemary (also key in bringing out the aromatics of this hearty herb) AND again once you add the sweet potatoes is key. Chemically it will make the onions sweat and bring out the natural juices and the sweet potatoes need it to bring out their flavor.
  • Homemade broth or stock: I confess, I wasn’t a homemade broth/stock type of person until I started the Autoimmune Protocol. I always thought it was a great idea, but the convenience of store bought was so nice. But after my first sip of hot chicken bone broth, I was sold. It is wonderfully robust, and has a buttery mouthfeel that you just don’t get from the cartons.

Of course, if you don’t make your own broth, that’s okay too, just know that you might need to amp up the rosemary and salt.

Sweet Potato, Ham & Kale Soup with Rosemary | simple & nourishing (paleo, AIP)

Beyond that, drinking bone broth is such an integral part of healing for any autoimmune condition, giving our bodies the building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining  and a soothing effect on inflammation in the gut.

It helps to maintain healthy bones, glowing skin, pain-free joints, and supporting the cellular processes that continually happen throughout the day.

With the gray, chilly days that April has brought to Minnesota, I feel like it makes this soup tastes even better. The salty sweet pork plays off the earthy kale, and the sweet potatoes meld with the warmth of the rosemary. I really love the colors too – orange, pink and green normally aren’t seen together, but they look lovely in the bowl don’t they?

And I must say don’t just reserve this bowl of comfort for lunch or dinner. I’ve discovered that having hot soup for breakfast might just be one of life’s hidden treasures. It’s soothing, comforting and a nice way to bring yourself together before the day starts.

Ham, Sweet Potato & Kale Soup | Paleo, Whole30
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Sweet Potato, Ham, and Kale Soup with Rosemary {AIP, Paleo}

This simple soup is unexpectedly delicious, made with leftover ham, sweet potatoes, and kale. Homemade chicken broth is key to deep flavor, and the rosemary compliments the sweet potatoes perfectly.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :25 minutes
Total Time :42 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, with 1 teaspoon of it removed and chopped (1 teaspoon if using dried)
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper (omit if following AIP)
  • 2 cups leftover diced ham
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth, or packaged low sodium versions
  • 3-4 large leaves of kale, finely chopped


  • In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute, until fragrant.
  • Stir in sweet potatoes, remaining salt and black pepper if using, then cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add rosemary, ham and broth, bring to a light simmer, and cover. Cook for 20-22 minutes, then add kale and cook for 4 more minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove full spring of rosemary. Taste and adjust salt as needed. The amount of salt you need may vary depending on the broth you use. Enjoy!


If you use store bought chicken broth, you might need to adjust the salt ratios. Taste throughout cooking and add as needed.

Did you make this?

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April 9, 2015


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  1. Susan

    5 stars
    I had spiral ham leftovers last Christmas and came across this recipe. I made a large batch and froze a few containers. This is one of my favourite soups and it’s just as good after being frozen. Thanks for such an easy, but delicious recipe.

    • Amanda Paa

      so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  2. MJ

    Thank you for this recipe. It’s my favorite AIP soup. I appreciated the seasoning advice, too.

  3. Nicole

    I stumbled upon this recipe around the time you originally posted it, and it has become a staple in our house. My husband LOVES ham, so we end up eating it about once a week. We always have leftover ham, which makes me extremely happy because I always end up making this delicious, healthy soup!! It’s one of my absolute favorites!! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    • amandapaa

      Oh, great Nicole! I’m so glad your family likes it. One of my favorites as well. And comes together so easily! xo

  4. Suzanne

    This soup is delicious! I used a ham steak (smoked) from a local farm and threw in a can of small white beans – just because. It’s not a heavy soup at all, yet very filling.

    • amandapaa

      Great to hear Suzanne! It definitely is soup season. The white bean addition sounds delicious too!

  5. Holly

    Where do you buy your ham at? Do you buy a whole ham and cook it? Do you get a ham steak and cut it up? Most of the ham I’m coming acrossed is pasture raised and nitrate free, however, it has been smoked.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Holly! I get my ham from our coop (Mississippi Market & Lakewinds), as well as local butcher, Clancey’s Meat. Do you live locally? I know it can be difficult to find them unsmoked, but if you don’t have access to these methods I would try contacting the farmer directly.

  6. Amber @ The Bewitched Baker

    This paleo dish looks so excellent. I never think of adding ham into soup! The homemade broth is a nice touch.

    • Amanda Paa

      Thanks Amber! Yes, since making homemade broth it will be hard to go back to store-bought. Adds so much depth!

  7. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    Ah! You’re so personable on TV! Congrats on this spot – I could watch you cook all day! Also – my acupuncturist is always telling me about how I need to eat more bone broth, but I’ve still never listened. You’re selling me on this, my friend:)

    • Amanda Paa

      thanks hun, i actually really enjoy it :) we should make bone broth when I come out, i think you’d find it really soothing. i usually make it with chicken bones. xo

  8. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    You’re such a natural on TV! And this soup sounds so dreamy, even on this warmer Minnesota day.

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you friend! The hosts make it pretty easy to be natural. They are always so kind and good at what they do. xo

  9. Catherine

    Sounds absolutely fantastic! Unfortunately the video is not loading on my computer…will check back later. Pinning! xo, Catherine

    • Amanda Paa

      Sorry about that Catherine. But thanks for pinning! :) xo

  10. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter

    This soup looks so comforting and delicious, Amanda! I am a big fan of kale and sweet potato and love the homemade bone broth too! I can just imagine how flavorful and soothing this is. Wish I had a big bowl on this rainy day!

    • Amanda Paa

      yes! i’m actually putting some of the leftovers in the freezer for a rainy day :)

  11. Christina @ Christina's Cucina

    Love this recipe for soup using leftover ham, and my daughter often has soup for breakfast before she goes off to school!

    • Amanda Paa

      Wow, awesome! A great source of veggies to start her day.

  12. Millie | Add A Little

    I love bone broth and this looks amazing, perfect for cold weather!

    • Amanda Paa

      it really is such a good kitchen addition isn’t it Millie? i make a couple of large batches each week and freeze them. makes a quick soup like this so easy.

  13. Kathryn

    I love watching your TV clips – you’re such a pro! This soup sounds super delicious too and I love your tips about how to get maximum flavour (and goodness!) into a bowl.

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you for watching the clips. It’s nice to know others are seeing them, even from many miles away! xo