Ed. Note: Aaron Vinten of The Athletes Table is back! And cooking something that is amazing and good for your athletic career, of course. Some people think soup isn't sexy, but many of the best meals of my life have been Asian noodle soups, French vegetable soups, or Mexican pozoles. Read on to learn how to make your own.

Say Hello to Slow Bone Soup! This soup is chicken noodle soups more powerful, nutritious and arguably more delicious arch rival. The secret ingredient? Bone broth! At its core, Slow Bone Soup is powered by a fantastic beef bone broth from BareBones broth and chock full of collagen based protein. Great for your hair, nail, skin and especially the joints. Especially those tired, sore, creaky, overused athlete joints. To learn about collagen protein and it's health benefits check out this great video explanation from Thomas DeLauer.

We're big fans of collagen protein and the benefits the athlete can gain from it. Additionally, this BareBones broth it's so delicious you could sip it right out of the package, but this time we have big plans for it. We took it to another level and slow cooked the broth for 8 hours with carrots, onion, great northern white beans, Wellshire Farms applewood smoked bacon, Silva andouille sausage, kale and some fresh Kenter Canyon Farms herbs. This stuff is freakin’ awesome!  The soup is hearty, full of deep rich flavor and has that perfect slow cooked all day flavor that you crave after a long day of winter training in the elements. Whether you are a cyclist, triathlete, marathon runner, cross fitter or parent who is non-stop on the go all day between work and kids (and workouts, too!), we all appreciate coming home to a fully-cooked meal that is hearty, filled and flavorful. Full of protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals, Slow Bone Soup is just what the tired, sore and hungry body needs.

In a feed.com article written by Dr. Kevin Sprouse, team physician for the Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team, Dr. Sprouse says that bone broth has benefits for soft tissue repair, digestive health and supports the bodies immune function.

"Bone Broth can serve a very useful purpose in the diet of an athlete.  After a workout, you’ll want to replace electrolytes, hydrate, and provide your body with a source of protein.  The collagen and glycine may help soft tissues recover, and its consumption will be supporting your digestive and overall immune health.  Bone Broth is a healthy, whole food source of all of these nutrients.  While there will hopefully be more research demonstrating the benefits of this food, we can certainly say that it’s a product that may help many athletes as they strive for better health and performance.”

So how do you make this Slow Bone Soup? It couldn't be easier.....the slow cooker does all the work! You just give the smokey bacon and spiced andouille sausage a quick sear in the frying pan and rough chop the vegetables.  Then toss it all in the slow cooker and pour in the bone broth. Set the timer for 6-8 hours and BOOM!  SLOW. BONE. SOUP.

Enough with all the chatting, Let’s get cooking!

STEP 1: PRINT THE RECIPE

Print the EASY recipe card and follow along with all the pictures below! If you don’t see the recipe card below, CLICK HERE!

STEP 2: GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS

Gather all the ingredients and tools out in front of you before you begin. In addition to the ingredients listed above, gather together a slow cooker, frying pan, sharp chef's knife and a cutting board.

The star of the show is really the broth that is created by the slow-cooking process.  The broth is so rich and flavorful and it all starts with the high-protein BareBones bone broth. BareBones is probably the best tasting bone broth I have had and it really amps up the flavor and protein content of the soup. Perfect for athletes. 

STEP 3: RUSTIC CHOP

For this recipe, we picked some of our favorite ingredients at our local Whole Foods including the BareBones beef broth, Muir Glen fire-roasted tomato, Eden Foods northern white beans, Silva smoked andouille sausage and Wellshire farms applewood smoked bacon and fresh rosemary and thyme from Kenter Canyon Farms

To begin, chop up the vegetables, andouille sausage and applewood smoked bacon into larger size pieces.  Larger size pieces of protein and vegetables, roughly 1” in size, will stay intact during the slow cooking process and not breakdown into mush.  If you haven't already, plug in the slow cooker and set it to high.

STEP 4:  QUICK SEAR 

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the chopped andouille and raw bacon to the frying pan and let it sear for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Adjust time and temperature as needed not to over cook.  

There is a lot of rich, smokey and salty flavor in the frying pan from the fats coming off the protein.  We want to make sure that we get it all into the slow cooker and into our soup. Be sure to add ALL the drippings from the frying pan into the slow cooker.

STEP 5: TOSS IT IN

With the andouille and bacon seared and now into the slow cooker, add in the chopped vegetables.

Add in the beans (and juice), tomatoes (and juice), carrots, onion and finely chopped herbs and bone broth.

STEP 6: SLOW COOK AWAY

For the first hour, allow the soup to come to a simmer in the slow cooker on high heat, then turn it to the low setting for the remainder of the 6-8 hour cooking process.

Once the soup has been allowed to simmer for a while, add in the kale for the last one hour or two of the simmer. 

STEP 7: EAT!

This Slow Bone Soup is chicken soups more powerful, nutritious and delicious cousin.  It’s what chicken soup wishes it could be.  At it’s core, the soup is powered by a fantastic beef bone broth from BareBones broth.  We took it to another level and slow cook the broth for 6 hours with carrots, onion, white beans, applewood smoked bacon, andouille sausage, kale and some fresh herbs to create a fantastic soup. Full of protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals, this Slow Bone Soup is just what your tired, sore and hungry body needs.