In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Cow Heel (cow foot) Soup Recipe.

Ladies and gents, I must confess that I’m not a fan of cow heel (cow foot or bull foot) soup and if it were up to me, this recipe would not have been found here as I normally don’t cook this. However, a fan on the Facebook page sent in a request and being the good boy I am.. I got the pot bubbling. Clevlan, this one is for you my brethren.

You’ll Need…

2 lbs cow heel *
1 teaspoon salt
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 carrots (cut in big pieces)
3 potatoes
1 cup yellow split peas
4 sprigs thyme
2 scallions
1 tablespoon veg oil
Okra (about 8-10)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 pimento berries (optional)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
12-16 cups water
1 cup diced pumpkin

– 1 cup flour (all purpose)
– pinch salt
– water

Notes: Make sure the cow heel is clean and cut into small pieces for easier cooking. Keep the scotch bonnet whole or burst open at the end if you want the kick from the heat it possesses.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pot on medium heat, add the diced onion, garlic, pimento berries, thyme, black pepper for 3-5 minutes and then add the cow heel. Stir well, then add the yellow split peas, salt, carrots  and cover with water.. raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hrs or 1/2 hr if using a pressure cooker. Drop the scotch bonnet pepper whole as it simmers.

As it simmers you’ll notice stuff gather at the top of the pot, skim and discard. After 2 hours the peas should be tender to the point where it will melt away and start thickening the soup. The pieces of cow heel will now be tender (and go gelatinous) , so it’s time to start adding the other ingredients. You can certainly add yams, dasheen, eddoes, green bananas etc, but I tried to keep this soup simple.

After adding the okra, potato, chopped scallions and pumpkin, it will take about 30 minutes to finish. So in a small bowl prepare the dumplings.. the flour, pinch of salt and enough water to form a soft but firm (to touch) dough. Let that rest for 15 minutes (cover with plastic wrap). Then the last 10 minutes of cooking, pinch small pieces of dough and roll between your hands to form a small cigar. Add to the pot and let cook for the final 10 minutes.

You will definitely need a large pot as no matter how hard you try.. when making any Caribbean soup, it always turns out to be a huge feast. There will be enough here for at least 8 people as a main dish.  Taste for salt the last 4 minutes and adjust accordingly. Remember you can personalize this soup with the addition of yams, sweet potato, cassava, dasheen and cooking bananas, so get creative. If you want to add additional flavor you can always add a soup mix (Grace or Maggi) to the pot the final 30 minutes of cooking, but this is really not necessary.

At the end fish out the sprigs from the thyme and don’t forget to get the scotch bonnet pepper out. I like the kick from the pepper, so I usually burst it in the soup and enjoy the explosive flavor. But proceed with caution as it will be live with that Caribbean sunshine.

IMPORTANT – Do not add flour dumplings if doing this recipe gluten free as it will not meet with your gluten free dietary needs. 

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
recipe image
Recipe Name
Cow Heel (cow foot) Soup Recipe.
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Average Rating
3.51star1star1star1stargray Based on 19 Review(s)


  1. dEOBRAH
    July 23, 2019 / 6:56 am

    ummmmmn amazing receipe. I love this one very much. Have a great day

  2. Nita R Daniels
    October 28, 2016 / 9:29 am

    My soul was excellent. I added dasheen and edoes and cilantro with plenty garlic.

    Thanks for the recipe

  3. Anfaani
    April 12, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the tips! The soup came out perfect. Yummy!

  4. birdie
    February 3, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Great job Chris. I put more garlic than the you said and I added a bouillon cube to the mix. Keep up the great job.

  5. spicegirl
    January 24, 2015 / 2:15 pm

    I made this soup today and it came out perfect! Thanks

  6. Kathy
    November 15, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    What a wonderful memory. I havent had this in years. Got to try it

  7. alma
    August 15, 2014 / 3:56 pm

    Trying it tomorrow

  8. JoAnn W.
    March 23, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    KUDOS Chris you did the job I am suffering from a kidney stone however, your cow’s soup is enough to make me want to hop too preparing too attempt the recipe right now. 5 stars up.

  9. zorah d
    December 6, 2013 / 9:53 pm

    After many several (different) attempts incl. following Chris’ to a tee, I have perfected this recipe merging it with corn soup to make,
    Trini Cow Heel Corn Soup!

    Omit the dumplings, potatoes and okra (I love okra but not in this)
    I tried this recipe but it was just way too thick and I wanted to preserve the taste of a lighter soup with the cow heel.

    Heat oil and add the black pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, and 2 small jalapeno peppers (or green bell) all chopped fine; add the cow heel, add a handful and only a small handful of yellow split peas (not necessary) and two bouillon cubes (one chicken, one vegetable)
    bring to boil (skim off fat – follow Chris’ directions), simmer and add the scotch bonnet (I love heat and use two large scotch bonnet);
    after one hour, add shado beni, a few pieces of pumpkin, 1 carrot sliced, 2 minced stalks celery, 1 teaspoon of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, and four halved local corn on the cob; simmer for another hour; turn off heat and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving

  10. Mooo
    November 8, 2013 / 2:11 pm

    That looks yummy. Thanks, Chris! I’m a fan of bizarre foods, cow foot soup is one of my favorites. I’ve tested a lot from many different countries and they are all good.

  11. Tuty
    April 17, 2013 / 3:42 pm

    Chris, since my family is a fan of cow heel soup, we make this soup on a regular basis. It taste even better when you add ham bone. Since my daughter doesn't like cow heel, I also add kielbasa sausage. Everyone is happy 🙂

  12. Ralph
    April 14, 2013 / 1:52 pm

    Thank you for the continuos posts of wicked recipes. Made the cow heel soup and the family loved it. Yesterday substituted goat in place of cow heel and there are no leftovers. Much respect Chris! Keep them coming!

  13. vasilka
    April 9, 2013 / 2:45 pm

    looks tasty.wish i had a bowl right now

  14. Lar
    April 4, 2013 / 9:36 pm

    Chris: I am with you on the cow foot. But I enjoyed reading the preparation.

  15. Anna
    April 3, 2013 / 6:14 pm

    Hmm thats seems to taste great. thanks for recipe. greetings from Holland

  16. bldp
    April 3, 2013 / 4:11 pm

    Love cow heel soup. Awesome soup. Not a fan of ochros in soup tho so I omit that.

  17. mary morris
    March 31, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    Chris, i must say i enjoy watching your humility, your gentle way and the kind person you seem to be. Continue to be the same prson do not change. Love you in jesus. Stay sweet. Mary Morriis. By the way i know this is not caribbean but a simple red velvet cake recipe i would like. Love red velv

  18. June Osmond
    March 31, 2013 / 12:57 pm

    I am certainly going to try this Chris. Thanks a mil for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *