Caribbean Cow Heel Soup

A bowl of cowheel soup
Cynthia Nelson
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Resting time for dumpling dough: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 5

Cow heel soup (soup made with the heels of a cow) 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 heel is sold in almost all markets and supermarkets in the Caribbean. Depending on where you are, 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 oil
  • 1 cup onions (diced)
  • 6 sprigs thyme (divided)
  • 2 pounds cow heel (cut up)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • 6 to 8 okra
  • 2 carrots (cut into 1-inch rounds)
  • 12 flour dumplings

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oil in pressure cooker.

  2. Add onions and thyme and saute until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add cowheel along with salt and pepper to taste and saute with onions and thyme for 3 minutes.

  4. Add 5 cups of water, stir, cover the pressure cooker and let cook for 30 minutes. Time begins from the first whistle.

  5. 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 soup.

  6. Add thyme and let the peas and cowheel cook on high heat until the peas melt.

  7. 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, adjust salt and pepper accordingly.

  8. Stir and serve.

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