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Colombian Ajiaco

Columbian Ajiaco Soup

Colombian Ajiaco.

I recently had the pleasure to experience the uniquely flavored Colombian style soup, Ajiaco with Alicia for the Blue Bell magazine monthly food feature.

Ajiaco, whose base is a chicken and broth soup imparts most of its distinctive flavor in the later addition of guascas, the antioxidant packed dried herb which in its fresh form is also considered both a weed and a leafy green commonly served as a vegetable in Colombian meals.   

Since Alicia has not yet found guascas readily available at any local or ethnic markets she purchases the Kiska brand package through Amazon. 

Traditionally, Ajiaco is served alongside a bowl of capers with either heavy cream or sour cream but the ingredients that provide the soups natural thickening include the use of 3 types of potatoes, and in the final simmering, the starchy ears of corn which add a lively color combination between the green  guascas speckles and the addition of some finely chopped scallions that Alicia sprinkles in for a little extra crunch.

Ajiaco is a considered a Colombian comfort food and is often served on weekends and holidays including in Alicia’s home where this soup reminiscent of her heritage is a real family favorite. With a fresh steaming pot hot off the stove we took a quick photo shot including Alicia’s son. But just to note, there was an athletic teenage cheerleader daughter waiting in the wings to ladle up a big bowlful. I can’t blame her. I’d be waiting in the wings too, any season of the year for a steaming hot bowl of this uniquely distinctive flavor. Could you please pass the capers and cream?

Alicia and son with a steaming pot of Ajiaco

Columbian Ajiaco

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Category: Soups

Cuisine: Columbian

Servings: 6

Columbian Ajiaco

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 whole cilantro stems tied with kitchen string
  • 4 whole scallions tied with kitchen string plus 3 scallions finely chopped
  • few pinches salt, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper or more to taste
  • 2 cups yellow potatoes, cubed
  • 3 medium white potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium red potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup guascas (the chopped dried herb may be purchased online through Amazon, Alicia purchases the Kiska brand)
  • 3 fresh ears of yellow corn cut into thirds or 6 frozen corn on the cob pieces
  • 1 cup capers for serving
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, set in the chicken, chicken bouillon, whole cilantro stems, whole scallions and garlic. Add the water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for around 35-40 minutes until chicken is cooked and tender, remove the cooked chicken and set aside. Add in the yellow, white, and red potatoes along with the guascas. Simmer for thirty minutes then add in the corn pieces and cook another thirty minutes. Remove the bunch of cilantro stems and scallions. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir, check seasoning and adjust to taste. Add in the chopped scallions. Cut the cooked chicken into small bite sized pieces and return to the pot. Serve the Ajiaco hot in soup bowls with heavy cream and capers on the side.
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6 Comments

  1. MARY H HIRSCH
    Posted April 26, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    One of my food goals this year is to introduce new ingredients, spices and condiments into my recipes. So this is right up my alley. I, of course, have never heard of this soup but it sounds as if it is tasty. Thanks for this story and recipe.

    • Posted April 26, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Thank You Mary. The flavor of this broth is so distinctive and unique with the guascas. Its a great soup and very easy to prepare. I’ve no doubt you will enjoy it! Welcome back to Aspen!

  2. Meredith
    Posted April 26, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Very exciting to see your article Peg. This looks like a delicious and easy chicken soup I can add to my repertoire.

    • Posted April 26, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Thank You Meredith! I’m excited for people to try it. Besides obtaining the guascas, the ingredient list sure is easy to put together.

  3. Joanne
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    This looks great! And simple too. I’ll keep this in mind over the summer for using up extra ears of fresh corn. Nice share.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.