Cow heel soup is another of the Traditional dishes that everyone who lives in the Caribbean (especially Trinis) know (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.
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. That would be exhausting! However, it would take about 25 minutes to pressure. You want the edible part of the heel soft enough to eat, but not too soft so it falls of the heel or seem to be almost melting. You would also want to retain some of the liquid that the heel cooked in as well. This gives the soup a wonderful gelatinous flavour that is enhanced with the other seasonings.
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
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 it until it is soft ( about 15 - 20 minutes)Note: Test with an ice pick or knife
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 the meat, bouillon cubes, provision, dumplings and chicken noodle soup to the cooked split peas and allow to simmer.
Serve your soup hot. Enjoy!
Cow Heel Soup
- 1 lb. cow heel about 5 pieces
- 8 cups Water
- ½ lb. split peas
- ½ lb. pumpkin diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 8 green figs bananas, chopped
- ½ lb. dasheen diced
- 2 small potatoes diced
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes optional
- 1 small onion
- 3 clove garlic
- 2 Pimento
- 1 pk. chicken noodle soup optional
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Parsley chive, chadon beni (3 tsp. each)
- ¼ tsp. Salt to taste
- Dumplings about 10 small, made from flour
- Place the cow heel in 4 cups of water. Add salt, garlic, and some of your favorite green seasoning. Pressure-cook the cow heel until it is soft.
- In another pot boil (or pressure-cook) the split peas, onion, pimento, garlic, chive, and green seasoning in 4 cups of water. Cook the split peas until soft.
- Clean and dice the provision. Boil the provision in water. When done remove the provision and set aside.
- Make the dumplings.
- Add cow heel, bouillon cubes (optional), provision, dumplings and chicken noodle soup to the cooked split peas and allow to simmer.
- Serve hot.