How to make Cow Foot Soup

Published on September 4th 2021 by Rachael Ottier Hart.
Last updated on April 1st 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Aerial shot of Cow Foot Soup in a bowl with rice on the side

Cow Foot Soup, or Cow Heel as more commonly called in Trinidad, is hearty comfort food. The use of cow's feet may seem strange to some people, but these cuts of meat were an affordable option for the working-class people and slaves during colonial times. These boney cuts are challenging due to the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, but those qualities also make them full of flavor and perfect for slow cooking. The soup base is full of fresh herbs, local seasonings, and vegetables that make this a stick to your ribs kind of dish. Even if you have never cooked cow foot, this recipe will help you make your own hearty soup every step of the way. So when the weather gets cold and raining, bring out a bowl of this soup to warm your body and soul.

What are the benefits of eating cow foot?

Cow feet contain a large amount of bone collagen, collagen is the super food that aids in promoting elasticity, healthy and glowing skin, hair and nails. Cow feet add rich flavor to soups and broths. 

Is cow feet soup healthy?

Cow foot soup is healthy due to the fact that they contain the added benefits of being rich in the minerals zinc and magnesium. These minerals aid the body by promoting healthy digestion. Cow foot soup is low in both fat and carbohydrates helping to maintain a healthy diet. 

How do you make cow foot broth?

To make a typical cow foot broth you need cow feet, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and water. Start by rinsing the cow feet under cold water until the water runs clear. Add the cow feet to a large stock pot & fill will cold water, let this come to a boil for 10 minutes, skimming off the foam that forms on the top. The water is then poured out rinsing the bones once again & filling the pot with fresh cold water, this is done to ensure a clear broth free of impurities. The vegetables and aromatics are then added to the broth and simmered for a minimum of 2 hours.  

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
120 mins
Total Time
150 mins
Serves
12

Ingredients

Cow Foot
Soup Base
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

  • 2 cloves Garlic minced

  • 1 large Onion, peeled & chopped

  • 3 stalks Celery chopped

  • 3 Seasoning Peppers Minced

  • 2 Green Onions chopped

  • 6 large Chadon Beni Leaves minced

  • 2 tablespoons Green Seasoning

  • 1 cup Yellow Split Peas

  • 3 Sprigs Thyme

  • 2 medium Carrots peeled & cut into bite sized pieces

  • 3 large Potatoes peeled & cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 medium Green Banana peeled & cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup Pumpkin cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 6 Okras cut into bite sized pieces

  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Dumplings
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour

  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • Water

Instructions

Split Peas - Prep Night Before

Place the peas into a large bowl, fully submerge with water 4 inches above the peas, stir in half a teaspoon of baking soda and allow them to soak overnight.

Wash and rinse at least three times thoroughly to remove the baking soda and any fermentation.

Place the peas into the large stockpot or the pot you will be making your soup in, fully submerge in water at least 2 inches above the peas, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda and bring to a boil.

Using a sieve or slotted spoon remove the foam that forms at the top of the water and discard.

Once the foaming stops, add it to the soup base.

Cow Foot - Pre Cooking Pressure Cooker

Season the cow feet with the green seasoning and salt, then place them into the pressure cooker and add enough water until they are fully submerged

Lock the lid in place and allow it to cook for 30 minutes on medium to high heat or until the meat is tender and soft.

Once the meat is cooked, set them aside until ready to add to the soup base

Cow Foot - Pre Cooking Stove Top

Season the cow feet with green seasoning and salt, then place them into a large stockpot or heavy-bottomed pot and add enough water until they are fully submerged.

Cover, bring to a boil, and cook for around 2 hours or until the meat is tender and soft.

Periodically check the water levels in the pot, adding if they get too low and stirring to make sure there is no burning to the bottom of the pot.

Once the meat is cooked, continue to set aside until ready to add to the soup base.

Soup Base

Using a large stockpot or heavy-bottomed pot, place it on medium-high heat and add the oil.

Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, onion, celery, seasoning peppers, green onions, chadon beni, and green seasoning, sauté for 5 minutes, stirring using a wooden spoon.

Mix the split peas and the pre-cooked cow feet, cover, and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat.

Mix in all the remaining ingredients, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Make the dumplings by mixing the flour, baking powder, salt together in a bowl, then adding a little water until a dough ball forms.

Once the dough ball has formed, knead it for 5 minutes or until smooth. If the dough is read when you press your finger into the dough, it should spring back like memory foam.

Divide the dough ball into quarters, roll them into balls, take one ball at a time, make snakes, and cut them into bite-sized pieces about 1 inch long and a quarter-inch thick.

After 15 minutes have passed, drop them into the pot and let it cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes or serve right away and enjoy.

Slow Cooker Method

Season the Cow feet with the green seasoning and salt, then place into the slow cooker, submerge them in water, set the heat to high, cover, and allow it to cook for 3 hours.

Occasionally check the water levels and add if necessary.

Add all the other ingredients, cover, and cook for another 3 hours on low.

Add the dumplings and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes or serve right away and enjoy.

Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart

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Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart