Soups for the Soul

Cidery Ham and Bean Soup

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Cidery Ham and Bean Soup

A belated happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks! I hope your day was as stellar as ours was. It was warm enough that we could eat outside without freezing the tips of our ears. Since our group is thirteen people, I was grateful that we could do that and stay within our current provincial restrictions of twenty-five people outside. We turned the celebration into a one year birthday party for our youngest grandchild with a pretty nifty Pumpkin Harvest cake and her own little cupcake to smash. These followed a delicious ham dinner that everyone contributed to, including dressing (Mennonite Dressing, not Amish), brussels sprouts, acorn squash rings, a potato casserole, and an autumn salad. Needless to say, we were stuffed to the gills.

From our clan to yours; Happy Thanksgiving! We are blessed beyond words.

After every celebration meal, there are leftovers to deal with and this was no exception. I’ve been wanting to try a new soup and the leftover ham and broth seemed ideal for that. So, on Monday night I started googling ham and bean soups and came up with several options. As I usually do, I combined what I liked about one recipe with what I liked about another recipe and came up with my own customized version. I loved the idea that the soup can be done entirely in the crockpot. I added a splash of our own cider because how could that not improve the flavour? And, surprise, surprise, I added a teaspoon of smoked paprika for the same reason. Substitute potatoes or other vegetables for the beans if you can’t stand them.

I served the soup with homemade biscuits on a perfect fall evening. Ahhh. I do love a good soup.

Martin’s Fresh Cider – simply the best.

This post is sponsored by Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. The retail store has reopened and it is lovely. Check it out!

Martin’s apple cider is made with carefully chosen apples and is cold-pressed for optimum flavour. We use several varieties of apples to create a beautifully blended taste.

Cidery Ham and Bean Soup


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped or sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 -5 garlic cloves, depending on size and preference
  • 8 cups (64 oz.) broth (ham, chicken, vegetable or a mixture)
  • 3 1/2 cups (28 oz.) diced or fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh Italian herbs
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups chopped kale or spinach (optional)
  • 2 – 3 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 14 oz. can navy or other white beans
  • salt if needed


Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker except for the green cabbage, kale, ham, beans, and salt. Turn cooker on high and cook for 5 to 7 hours or until the vegetables are soft. Add the cabbage, kale, beans, and ham about 2 hours before serving. Test for salt and pepper before serving and add if needed. Serve with fresh bread or biscuits.