Pot Likker Soup Recipe


4.91 from 11 votes
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Pot Likker Soup makes a delicious and filling meal. Made of pot likker (or pot liquor), the cooking liquid from collards or turnip greens, along with other vegetables and ham. This soup is Southern comfort all the way! 


Okay, the name of this recipe may have thrown you off just a touch, but please stay with me.

This Pot Likker Soup Recipe is really, really one you should give a try. It makes a great soup recipe to throw together on the stove with any leftovers from your New Year’s Day meal of baked ham, turnip, mustard or collard greens, and just a few more additions to the soup pot.

And just to tell you, we love Pot Likker Soup so much that we don’t even wait for New Year’s  to enjoy it.

Pot Likker Soup Recipe

If you’ve never heard the term pot likker before, it is the liquid left over after you’ve cooked collard, turnip or mustard greens. Sometimes it is spelled as pot liquor soup, potlikker, or – the way I spell it – pot likker. Pot Likker is packed with iron and vitamins C and K and is one of the most revered liquids in Southern cooking around my house.

I probably get my affiinity for a big pot of greens with pot likker from my Grandmother who would have had a fit at the thought of pouring out the liquid from cooking her greens.

Since she cooked greens regularly, the left over liquid would become a meal in and of itself.

Sometimes, it was as simple as warming a piping hot bowl of pot likker on the stove and making a fresh skillet of corn bread to go along with it for a simple and warm lunch during the cool winter months.

Now, I add a few more ingredients turning that simple broth from the greens into a hearty soup.

My Pot Likker Soup recipe included below gives you instructions for cooking the collard, mustard, or turnip greens along with leftover ham.

If you don’t have a leftover ham, you can always substitute slices of salt pork or thick-sliced bacon.

Also, if you happen to have leftover collard, mustard, or turnip greens, you’ll reduce the cooking time to about 15 minutes total.

You’ll want to add more water to any pot likker that you have from your leftover greens to make it equal about 6 cups total.

You can play with the broths to find the flavor profile you prefer, you may prefer to use 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 vegetable broth, either will work well.

Here’s my Pot Likker Soup recipe.

Pot Likker Soup Recipe

4.91 from 11 votes
Pot Likker Soup makes a delicious, hearty soup using the broth of collard, mustard, or turnip greens and additional vegetables.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 5 slices baked ham, chopped (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups collard greens, mustard, or turnip greens, washed with hard stems removed
  • 8 cups water
  • pinch red pepper flakes, optional


  • Add chopped ham to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Heat for about 2-3 minutes and then add olive oil, onion and carrots. Saute until becomes tender, about 2 more minutes. Then add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in chicken broth and cook until has reduced by about ½.
  • Add greens and water. Boil over medium heat for about 45 minutes until greens are extremely tender.


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4275IU | Vitamin C: 9.9mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

Southern Pot Likker Soup Recipe - A quick, easy, and comforting soup recipe made of ham, carrots, and greens. // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review


  1. Felicia says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this using leftover greens and finally did tonight. It was so good. My husband LOVED it! I added half a poblano pepper and our leftover black eyed peas. Mmmmmm! This may be our New Year’s Day meal from here out.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Felicia. I’m so glad you like this soup. It sounds great with the pepper and black eyed peas.

    2. Garlic Girl says:

      5 stars
      Delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!! Down Home Goodness!!!

  2. Cathy says:

    5 stars
    My family loves this. I use bacon in the place of ham, dehydrated carrots and onions, and refrigerated garlic, which makes this something easy to fix!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Cathy. That sounds great.

  3. Sandra Thompson says:

    Love the pot likker, just drink hot with or without cornbread. I use a piece of a ham shank, crock pot and plenty of chicken or veg broth, garlic powder and let cook on low till collards are tender.

  4. Diana Y. Paul says:

    5 stars
    This is the best recipe for leftover greens after Thanksgiving! I add the leftover turkey, a bit of chorizo, fresh carrots and leftover yams. Yum! Always have to save some greens for this dish!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Diana. I haven’t tried this with leftover turkey.

  5. Ann says:

    Realized I should review this since I make it ALL the time during the winter months. I follow the recipe but add some white beans or potatoes to get some delicious carbs in 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe, it’s a new staple in my family

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Ann. That sounds good.

  6. Susan says:

    5 stars
    Second time making this tonight and it just gets better every time…I think pot “likker” is probably just about as beneficial as bone broth is…all the nutrients, etc. I usually cook for one, but none of this ever goes to waste, and I proudly share some of the leftovers 🙂 Thanks.