Primal Soup


Coach Paul Hines’ own recipe for bone broth – super-healthy comfort food for combat sports athletes




For as long as humans have been cooking food, we’ve been making bone broth. The Chinese have records on its benefits going back 2500 years. The Roman armies marched on it, and French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was the first to can it in the early 1800s. Today, bone broth is making a resurgence in the health community. Its fans include Erwan Le Corre, movement coach to UFC star Carlos Condit, and Daniel Vitalis of the ReWild Yourself podcast.

As the head MMA coach at the MMA Clinic I find my days can be long: constantly holding pads, demonstrating techniques, plus working closely with the other coaches and MMA team. My down time is spent on the mats in my gi, training Jujitsu under the watchful eye of black belt Mike Russell – when I’m drilling moves and sparing with young, up-and-coming BJJ guys. The two things in the back of my mind are not to get injured, and not to get sick. 

And when I’m not supplementing my BJJ with kettle bells, foam rolling and yoga, I’m watching my diet.  I’ve found bone broth to be very important for the maintenance of my joints and connective tissue for injury prevention. It’s also a great boost for my immune system, energy levels and recovery time. 

The recipe I follow is time consuming, but worth it. There are some good alternatives in health food shops that I’d recommend as well. To source your bones, ask your local butcher. They shouldn’t cost anything really, since they’re disposed of weekly. It’s good to know where your bones have come from, so I source my vegetables from a local green grocer, plus always look for local, organic produce.


Coach Hines’ Bone Broth Ingredients


4 litres bottled water

3 kg beef, pork or venison bones

1 large onion

4 celery sticks

2 large carrots

1 large whole chilli

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

3 cloves smoked garlic

80g fresh ginger root

30g fresh turmeric root

2 teaspoons sea salt

several pinches of black pepper



Bring the water to boil in a large stock pot. Add the bones and the vinegar. Bring them to boil and reduce heat to low. Skim the residues to keep the broth clear. Simmer bones for two hours.

Wash celery. Peel carrots cutting into chunks. Peel onion and cut in half. Peel turmeric, ginger and garlic. Add all of these to the simmering broth.

Season the broth with salt and pepper. Leave all to simmer on low heat, with lid on, for eight hours, checking regularly and give a gentle stir.

Remove all the bones and vegetables, then discard them. Ladle the broth into a sieve placed over two large bowls.

Leave it cool and the broth should thicken, then set like jelly.

This batch will fill three to four Tupperware containers with a total of 12 to 16 servings.

If stored in fridge, consume within three to four days. Recommended to freeze until required!

Health Benefits

Glucosamine found in bone broth helps to keep your joints healthy and pain free, plus chondroitin sulphate helps to prevent osteoarthritis

High concentration on minerals in bone broth helps to strengthen the immune system

Phosphorus, magnesium and calcium in the bones seeps out into the broth giving you all you need for healthy bones

Amino acids in bone broth help to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is essential for the ongoing growth, repair and maintenance of skeletal muscle groups and also shown to reduce inflammation

Bone broth is good for your stomach and intestine. The gelatine in bone broth helps to heal up holes and maintain a healthy stomach

Paul Hines is the head trainer at The MMA Clinic, London. Follow him on Instagram @coach_hines_mma

Steve Beale