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Kalla-pacha soyutmasi – Sheep’s head soup

Kalla-pacha soyutma (kəllə-paça soyutma) is one of two traditional Azerbaijani soups made from offal.

42642The sheep’s head is the distinctive ingredient in this soup, while the even more popular khash (xaş) is made from sheep or cow trotters. Both sheep’s head soup and khash are traditionally prepared by men. They are served for breakfast and highly prized as a hangover cure.

Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 5 – 6 hours
Serves: 5-6


  • 1 kg/2.2 lbs of sheep’s trotters, head and stomach (the stomach is optional)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 50 g/2 oz parsley root
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • grape vinegar
  • salt & pepper


  • Thoroughly wash the sheep’s trotters. Singe with a cook’s blowtorch or over a gas flame to remove any hair. Wash again. Thoroughly wash the head and stomach (if using). Remove the teeth from the head and, using a cleaver, break the head and trotters into pieces.
  • Put the offal in a large pan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 to 5 hours. At regular intervals skim off the scum that forms on the surface of the water.
  • Add onion, carrot and parsley root 1 hour before cooking is complete.
  • Strain the broth but do not discard the offal.
  • Take the meat from the bones (the meat will fall off the bone if the offal has been cooked properly) and return to the broth.
  • Add salt & pepper and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
  • Add crushed garlic to two glasses of vinegar and mix well.
  • Serve hot with fresh bread and the garlic and vinegar mixture.

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