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Food & Drink

4 Collagen-rich Soups for Cold Winter Days

As winter settles in, it’s a perfect time to stay close to home and enjoy rich comfort food. Soups, stews, and braises are popular during the coldest months for a reason; they fill you up and give you a warm feeling long after you’re done eating. But another benefit of many soups and stews, especially those that use bone broth or are cooked with bones or skin on the meat, is that they contain an abundance of collagen.

What is collagen and what is it good for? Collagen is a natural tissue-building protein found in our body, particularly in skin, bones, ligaments, muscles, and other connective tissue. Because collagen is found in tissues all around the body, it plays a direct or indirect role in skin, bone, joint, heart, digestive, and immune health.

While powder and capsule collagen supplements are widely available and useful for many people, you can also increase your collagen intake or natural production by enjoying hearty recipes with collagen-packed ingredients like these rich winter soups and stews.

1. Keto Chicken Zoodle Soup

This keto-friendly soup will take you right back to your childhood favorite, but without the carb-heavy noodles that usually define the dish. The secret ingredient is 2 quarts of bone broth, preferably chicken. Bone broth is loaded with collagen and can be cooked in advance and frozen to avoid the hassle of cooking stock when you want a quick soup—or, you can buy it premade. Using pre-cooked chicken and spiralized zucchini noodles, this soup can be ready in only 20 minutes if you have all the supplies.

Start by sauteing onion, carrot, and celery in a 1/4 cup of the fat of your choice until tender, then add garlic. Combine with the bone broth, chicken, and simmer, then add the zucchini noodles for the last three to five minutes of cooking. Then, there’s nothing left to do but serve. Not only is the bone broth loaded with collagen, but the nutrients in the chicken itself promotes collagen production.

2. Cod Chowder

Not only does cod have collagen in the tissue, but it also contains some of the vitamins that support natural collagen synthesis. While most chowders are loaded with white potatoes and cream, making them a heavy meal, this recipe is based on the lighter Manhattan chowder and uses some healthy swaps to create a hearty but healthy soup ideal for seafood lovers. Even better, this soup takes only 30 minutes to make and only requires

Start by sauteing onion, celery, garlic, and tomato paste in olive oil for three to five minutes until soft. Then, add vegetable broth, water, diced tomatoes, and the yams and cook for about 10 minutes or until the yams are tender. Finally, add the cod filets along with salt, pepper, and thyme. After five more minutes of cooking, you’ll have a healthy and collagen-rich chowder to chow down on.

3. Veggie Tomato Egg Drop Soup

Do you crave the egg drop soup served at your favorite Chinese restaurant? This recipe adds a tomato twist and substitutes the rice for cauliflower to cut out carbs. It gets its collagen content from the egg white in the beaten egg that gives egg drop soup its signature taste and texture. Egg whites also contain proline, one of the amino acids that stimulate collagen production.

This soup has only six ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to cook. You’ll need a can of chicken broth, but you can sub this out for bone broth for an added collagen boosts. Combine it with a can of sugar-free crushed tomatoes in a saucepan, and add 1 1/2 cup of riced cauliflower. Simmer this for 25 minutes to ensure consistency before adding a beaten egg. Make sure to stir the soup rapidly so the egg breaks down completely. After letting the soup cook for another two minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Garlic Butternut Soup

This creamy vegan soup has a secret collagen-producing weapon—garlic. Garlic is a rich source of sulfur, an essential nutrient for collagen synthesis, and taurine, which helps restore damaged collagen fibers.

To get started, bake 3 pounds of butternut squash with curry powder alongside two garlic heads. Once the squashes cook, clean them out and cook the insides in a pot along with the soft garlic from the heads. Then, add the rest of the curry powder and the broth and puree using a hand blender. Next, and half a can of coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil.

You can serve the soup plain with just salt and pepper, but you can also top this soup with walnuts, cilantro, or an apple chutney made from apples, onion, cinnamon, and sea salt.

Winter Nutrition

Eating hearty during winter doesn’t have to mean losing sight of nutrition. Rich, flavorful soups and stews are the cornerstone of many winter diets. Naturally rich in collagen and collagen-producing nutrients, they’re the perfect way to have a taste of healthy comfort during the coldest months.