Jack Kittredge

I wouldn’t really die for this soup, but in a moment of enthusiasm our youngest, Chuk, blessed the recipe with the above name and it stuck. I think the real reason it’s so good is that a pig’s feet contain not just meat but a lot of gelatinous material which, when cooked down enough, is a great flavorful thickening agent.


  • 2 to 4 pigs feet
  • 2 or 3 cups of dry beans
  • 3 – 5 onions
  • Other vegetables
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • 4 – 6 big carrots
  • 1 cabbage
  • Basil
  • Pepper


  1. If you are going to have soup for supper, soak the beans a day ahead of time. I start in the afternoon and let them soak all night, covered in water. I particularly like lima, great northern, or navy beans for this soup. The next morning I put them in a pot and let them simmer all day. Don’t boil too fast or the proteins may harden and the beans won’t be as soft as they should.

  2. Early in the morning of the meal (or the previous night if you are a late riser) start the pig feet at a low boil, with a touch of vinegar. They need to boil for hours to completely dissolve the gelatinous material. The vinegar helps extract calcium from the bones.

  3. By the afternoon of the meal the pig feet will be dissolved. Pick the bone and fat and other solids out and feed to your dogs or cats, leaving all the meat, juice, melted fat and gelatin. Mix this with the simmering beans and add plenty of salt, pepper and basil to taste. About an hour before dinner cut up the carrots and onions and throw them into the simmering soup. Then about 20 minutes before supper throw in the cut up cabbage and other vegetables (whatever you like – spinach is great, celery is fine, just figure enough time for it to get tender but not overcooked by serving time.)

  4. Serve, sit back, and wait for your children’s suspicious pokings about in the bowl to be replaced by sighs of enjoyment.