A Deliciously Tasty Cow Heel Soup Recipe

Most of us have heard of “Sunday Fundays”, “Taco Tuesdays”, and “Throwback Thursdays”. In the Caribbean it’s “Soup Saturdays“. People get up early and make a trip to the markets to gather all the fresh ingredients for a huge and hearty pot of soup.

The dish is meant for lunch, but often turns into dinner with a few sides as well. One such popular soup in the region is Cow Heel. This delightful meal is loaded with fresh root vegetables, (like yams and cassava), meat, and dumplings. Cow Heel (also called Cow’s Foot) is said to be one of the original soups of the Islands, long before Pigeon Pea and Oxtail.

Is It An Actual Cow’s Heel?

Indeed, the meat used is a cow heel. More specifically, it’s the cartiledge, tendons, and skin that comprise the heel. There is not a lot of meat here, but the cartledge is high in collagen, magnesium, and zinc. These all help to build healthy bones, teeth, and skin.

The cartledge and tendons become gelatinous when cooked down, so it makes for a distinctive and delicious soup. So if you’re in the mood for an authentic taste of the Caribbean, give this soup a try.

A Deliciously Tasty Cow Heel Soup Recipe

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total: 1 hour, 20 minutes


For The Soup

  • 1-1/2 pounds of cow’s heel
  • 2 tablespoons of green seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 cup of yellow split peas (dried)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup of cubed pumpkin
  • 1/2 pound of salted pig’s tail
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 sweet potato (sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper powder
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 corn on the cob (chopped into 4-5 pieces)
  • 3 cups of water (plus more water)
  • 1/2 cup of celery (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of chives (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For The Dumplings

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


For The Cow’s Heel

  • Rinse the heel and soak in water and vinegar for about 10 minutes.
  • The cow’s heel will take a long time to cook on the stove top. You can boil them, but it will take about 4-5 hours. So it’s strongly suggested you either cook them in a pressure or Instacooker. This will cut the time to 40 minutes. You can also choose to make them in a slow cooker overnight. Place 2 cups of water in with some green sauce and cook on low overnight.

For The Soup

  • Transfer the heels and juices from the pressure cooker or slow cooker into a large pot with 3 cups of water.
  • When the water starts to boil. Add the garlic, green seasoning, onion, and split peas. Let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Add pigtails, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, corn, and carrots.
  • Add the hot pepper, celery, and chives. As the soup continues to cook, prepare the dumplings.
  • Mix the flour, water, and salt together to form small dumpling balls. Add them to the pot, with more water if needed.
  • Keep on a medium low heat until the root vegetables are tender, and the dumplings have floated to the top.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Facts

  • calories: 600
  • carbs: 117 grams
  • fat: 4.3 grams
  • protein: 16 grams
  • fiber: 4 grams
  • sugar: 16 grams
  • sodium: 524 milligrams
  • potassium: 569 milligrams

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cow Heel Soup?

Cow Heel soup is not only delicious and filling, but it’s chock full of nutrients that can have a positive effect on the body. The heel itself is loaded with collagen, bone marrow (a super food), calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

The root vegetables contain tons of the essential vitamins C, B, and E, along with Beta-Carotene and potassium. These can all help to:

  • improve the skin’s elasticity and appearance
  • protect cells against disease
  • improve bone and joint health
  • prevent broken bones
  • improve brain function
  • aid in digestive health
  • improve eye health
  • strengthen teeth
  • cure a hangover

When digging into a heaping bowl of Cow Heel soup, you can enjoy the deliciousness totally guilt free, as it’s a super healthy, good for you meal.

How Long Does Cow Heel Soup Last?

If you have leftovers, you can expect them to last for about 3-4 days in the fridge. The soup may taste even better on day 2 or 3 as the spices and flavors have a chance to really settle into the stock. If you want to freeze the leftovers, place them in a freezer safe container, and it will stay good for about 3 months.

Where Can I Find Cow Heel?

You won’t usually find cow heel sitting next to the ground beef in your local supermarket. Your best bet is to visit a Caribbean, Latin, or Asian market. They usually carry heels and feet. You can also get pigtails there as well. You may also be able to find them at butcher shops in larger cities.

What Are Some Other Delicious Caribbean Soups?

If you’ve fallen for the Cow Heel soup, and are hankering for some more Caribbean soup magic, check out these flavorful soups.

1. Mannish Water

A popular soup in Jamaica, it’s made from goat offal, yams, coconuts, green bananas, and dumplings. It’s traditionally served at family gatherings and parties.

2. Peas and Dumpling Soup

The official soup of the Bahamas, it’s filled with pigeon peas, stewed tomatoes, potatoes, and ham. It’s found in every nook and cranny of the island, from home freezers to roadside cafes.

3. Joumou

This soup hails from Haiti with the main ingredients being pumpkin and beef. It’s a symbol of freedom in the country, as it was once served only to plantation owners and was illegal for servants to eat. The soup is traditionally served on New Year’s Day.

4. Caribbean Potato Soup

Filled with callaloo (a leafy green), kidney beans, sweet potatoes, and spices. This soup is sure to warm you up on a chilly day.

5. Callaloo Soup

This soup is served in Trinidad during the holidays. The ingredients can switch around depending on what’s in season, but the base ingredients are pumpkin, callaloo, okra, and meat.

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