Cow Heel Soup

Cow heel soup is another of the Traditional dishes that every Trini knows (or should know) how to cook. Everyone has their own variation to the soup according to their taste. Different vegetables and ground provisions may be added, some people add dumplings while others don’t, others may even add split peas to thicken it a little. No matter how it’s made the cow heel is the centre of attraction in the soup. Now cow heel refers to the lower extremities of the cow or bull that is cut up and sold at the market and super markets. It is really the gelatinous tissue between and around the joints of the feet of the animal.


Cow Heel

A Cow Heel Soup For All Occasions

Because of its toughness, the cow heels are usually pressure cooked first before it is added to the soup; please don’t ever try to cook this without pressure cooking, because you will spend whole day cooking it and still, after all that time, it wouldn’t be softened.

This dish is also very popular at local Creole Style restaurants and is a mainstay on the menu. It is also another dish you can have at all inclusive fetes or if you’re just liming with some friends and you feel to “bubble a pot”. So here again is another mouthwatering recipe from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, our very own Cow Heel Soup. Enjoy!

Cow Heel Soup Recipe

Cow Heel Soup,how to make cow heel soup, trini cooking



1 lb. cow heel (about 5 pieces)
8 cups Water
½ lb. split peas
½ lb. pumpkin, diced
1 carrot, diced
8 green figs, chopped
½ lb. dasheen, diced
2 small potatoes, diced
2 bouillon cubes (optional)
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic, divided
2 pimento peppers
1 pk. chicken noodle soup
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. parsley, minced
1 tsp. chive, minced
5 leaves Chadon beni
Salt to taste


Place the cow heel in 4 cups of water. Add salt, 1 clove garlic, and some of your favorite green seasoning. Pressure-cook the cow heel until it is soft ( about 15 – 20 minutes)Note: Test with an ice pick or knife


In another pot boil (or pressure-cook) the split peas, onion, pimento, 2 cloves garlic, chive, and green seasoning in 4 cups of water. Cook the split peas until soft.


Clean the provision. Remove their skin and dice them.Boil the provision in water.
When done remove the provision and set aside.


Make the dumplings.

Add cow heel, bouillon cubes, provision, dumplings and chicken noodle soup to the cooked split peas and allow to simmer. Serve hot.

Print this Cow Heel Soup recipe.


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13 Responses to Cow Heel Soup

  1. Roderick January 7, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    Can you stew cow heel … similar to stew ox-tail? I love cow heel soup … I also love stew ox-tail … so I was wondering about stew cow heel.

  2. January 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Well Roderick, we don’t really stew cow heel in Trinidad and Tobago. You see cow heel is so gelatinous, that by the time you pressure cook it and start to stew it down it would be just one big mess. That is why we prefer to use it in a soup instead.

  3. Julliana January 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    The “Cow Heel Soup” is the true “Trini” recipe. That’s about as authentic a recipe as you can get.I know I’m a true “Trini” and I cook cow heel soup almost every saturday.

  4. January 23, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    Thank you Julliana for your comment. It doesn’t get any better than this!

  5. Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 2:47 am #

    I stumbled on your site thankfully:) am always saying Trinis can cook and your recipes are quite similar to Grenadian I tried your yam chips simply delicious
    continue sharing
    appreciative Grenadian

  6. Raz4125 March 3, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated!

  7. fnj79 November 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    I am so glad to see this recipe…when I pregnant with my daughter, I use to eat Cow heel soup at least 3 times a week…it was what my daughter was craving! this recipe is a good one!!

  8. Felix November 11, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Thank you for your wonderful comment. :-)

  9. WizzyTheStick May 8, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    I just saw this pic on a facebook app!

  10. Cassiw April 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    When it says one pack of chicken noodle soup do you have a particular brand that works best? Do you mean a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup for example? or is it talking about another type of pack soup?

    • Felix April 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      In Trinidad and Tobago we are referring to the Maggi Brand of chicken noodle soup or any equivalent.

  11. Henry July 1, 2014 at 12:07 am #

    I know this is an archived old post, but it’s new to me having just found it. And so glad as well for this one. I remember this as a kid in St.Kitts, it was soup heaven. I can only imagine it’s similar unless I pick up phone to call home and check living in the U.S. But I’m just going to figure from now on anything I make will be a fusion blend of my local Kittitian and Trini recipe mix. Not sure what to call that but Caribbean will simply do lol. I have some Cow Foot in freezer about a month not at least, will try this on the weekend as have more time and one way to use the Pressure Cooker I bought some time ago yet unused.

    This recipe for some reason made me also think of Beef Shank I think it’s called I often see in some my grocery store here. Gelatinous in center, yet meaty around the bone. Kinda wonder how you would cook that if you Braise Stew it or Soup it as well like this?

    • Felix July 1, 2014 at 10:07 am #

      the beef shank you’re talking about reminds me of Ox tails. Maybe it’s a different name lol. Thanks for commenting and continue to dig around my archives with glee. :)

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