Collagen Rich Soup for Arthritis ~

Start with a homemade broth. I use locally loved and grown, organic, free range, grass-fed and finished products and seasonal vegetables. I switched to chicken feet a few years ago after I was diagnosed with final stages of osteoarthritis in my right hip. You can find collagen in animal parts such as skin, tendon, cartilage and offals (more about offals in another post). Collagen turns into gelatin after cooking. Gelatin’s two anti-inflammatory amino acids are glycine and arginine, which help to balance, and complement meat. Besides being important for skin, nail, hair and bone health, collagen and gelatin are crucial for maintaining gut health. Do the research!

Chicken feet are easier for your body to digest than muscle, especially as we mature. I have more energy and vitality having switched to feet and offals with no ‘heavy’ feeling that typically comes with digesting muscle. I also use fresh, organic ingredients, even with my herbs. Getting back to myself meant getting back to my roots but in new ways. It has been a lifestyle change for the better. This recipe makes a large pot and costs approximately $20. It lasts me about 5-6 meals during the week. It’s satisfying, very nutritious and economical, especially, if you’re on a budget.


8 – 10 chicken feet (pre-cleaned and de-nailed)

1 chicken leg

2- quarts of distilled water

2 large organic green onions or half a white onion, finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced or grated

Bunch of baby bok choy

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 celery stock (or celery root)

1 tsp of sesame oil

First step is the broth. As my chicken feet are prepped before freezing, I just slide 10 frozen feet into a large pot. Simmer on low the water, feet, leg, garlic, onion and celery with salt and pepper. After a few hours on low, the feet should appear gelatinous and the meat from the leg simply breaks away. Remove the leg bones. Add baby bok choy, carrot, sesame oil and let that roll around on low for a while. At this point I add about 1/2c of amaranth. You could always use groats, quinoa or sorghum. I like to change it up.

Some other ingredients you may want to try are:  freshly graded turmeric and/or ginger, fresh lemongrass during simmering, fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary, or shrimp. Maybe some shiitake mushrooms or chaga. I like to place about 1/2c to 1c of my chaga/turkey tea in my broths. I make my tea once a week and leave it in the fridge.

As mentioned, this pot of delicious nutritious food costs approximately $20. For each bowl I eat, I put 2 scoops of collagen hydrolysate, adding a well-rounded dose of amino acids. Since adding the collagen hydrolysate to my diet on a daily basis, I feel happier, more balanced in my body, and I have energy. One of the side effects of the osteoarthritis, apart from the pain, is depression. This, for me, was a natural way of balancing out my stress hormones and keeping me out of my slumps.

If this is your first time eating soup with chicken feet, you may find them a nuisance, having to spit out the small bones. But once you accept the change and realize how much more nutritious feet are than muscle, especially if you have arthritis, you won’t mind the temporary inconvenience while enjoying collagen in a bowl of great soup.

Let me know how you like the recipe and how you’ve adapted it to your taste buds. This is certainly not a cure. But I have certainly benefited from the lifestyle change. Enjoy!

In the Ottawa, Ontario area, contact my friend, Luke Swale at for grass-fed and organic poultry. The most plump and succulent poultry I have ever eaten!