Caribbean Cow Heel Soup

A bowl of cowheel soup
Cynthia Nelson
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Resting time for dumpling dough: 20 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1230 Calories
6g Fat
254g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 1230
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 204mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 254g 92%
Dietary Fiber 18g 63%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 46mg 232%
Calcium 281mg 22%
Iron 15mg 85%
Potassium 871mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cow heel soup (also called cow foot soup) is one of the most loved soups in the Caribbean. Hearty and always filling, it is cooked with yellow split peas, some vegetables and of course dumplings.

Cow heels are sold in almost all markets and grocery stores in the Caribbean. Depending on your location, you might only be able to get this delicacy from your butcher.

A pressure cooker is the best pot to use to make this soup as the cow heel takes a long time to cook. If using a pot, increase the cooking time and water. The aim is to cook the cow heel until it is fall-off-the-bone tender.


  • 2 teaspoons corn or vegetable oil

  • 1 cup diced onions

  • 6 sprigs thyme, divided

  • 2 pounds chopped cow heel

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas

  • 6 to 8 medium okra

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch coins

  • 12 small flour dumplings

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat oil in pressure cooker.

  3. Add onions and half of the thyme and sauté until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add cow heel along with salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 3 minutes.

  5. Add 5 cups of water, stir, cover the pressure cooker and let cook for 30 minutes. Start timing after the first whistle.

  6. Release the valve of the pressure cooker to let out the steam. Open the pressure cooker and add the peas and more water. There should be enough water to cook the peas and make a soup.

  7. Add more thyme and let the peas and cow heel cook on high heat until the peas soften.

  8. Add okra and dumplings to pot, cover and let cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through. Taste soup for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.