Ajiaco is a potato soup from Colombia. Although several regions of Colombia have their distinct recipe, the most famous is ajiaco santafereño, named after Santa Fé de Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, where it is a cultural mainstay. It typically contains pieces of chicken on the bone, large chunks of corn on the cob, two or three kinds of native potatoes (tiny papas criollas that fall apart and thicken the soup, the waxy sabanera and/or the soft pastusa), and guasca (Galinsoga parviflora), a weedy, aromatic herb common in all America that lends the dish part of its distinctive flavour.
The soup is typically served with heavy cream, capers and avocado, all mixed in just before eating in the proportions each individual prefers. Ajiaco is so heavy that, served with a side of white rice, it is usually considered a full meal. In the highly regional Colombian cuisine, this is the dish most representative of Bogotá.
In recent years, guascas have become easier to find in Latin American groceries in the US. Though purists may insist on using genuine guascas, others might substitute oregano in a pinch.
Soups called ajiaco can be found in other regions of Latin America, though some share almost nothing with the traditional bogotano recipe apart from the name. The name is likely derivative of the word ají, a Taíno word for “hot pepper” which has become generalized in South American Spanish (equivalent to chile in Mexican Spanish). Though the modern Colombian ajiaco contains no ají, it is probably derived from spicier indigenous dishes.
Ajiaco is also a Cuban recipe, a kind of stew. Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz once defined the country as an ajiaco, alluding to the role that Spanish, African and Chinese cultures had in the definition of the national identity. For Cubans, ajiaco also means something that contains many ingredients. Ajiaco, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ajiaco&oldid=235052572
* 1 whole skin-on bone-in chicken breast (approximately 750g)
* 1 l chicken broth
* 1 onion, peeled
* 2 scallions (white part and first 2 cm of green)
* 2 carrots, peeled
* 4 cloves garlic, peeled
* 1 bay leaf
* 3 ml dried thyme
* 2 ml ground cumin
* 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
* 10 black peppercorns
* 5 ml tomato paste
* .5 kg small yellow potatoes. peeled
* .5 kg small purple potatoes. peeled
* .5 kg mashing potatoes, peeled and sliced 2 cm thickness
* 1 l water
* 2 ml of beef bullion granules
* .25 ml of frozen peas
* 4 ears of corn, quartered lengthwise and cooked
* 10 ml of whipping cream mixed with 10 ml of créme fraíche
* 2 ripe but firm Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into eight slices right before serving
* 10 ml of finely chopped cilantro
1. Combine chicken, broth, onions, scallions, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, cumin, cilantro and peppercorns in large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Skim off froth as it rises. Reduce heat to low and cover when frothing finishes.
2. Remove and reserve chicken after it is cooked through (approximately 20 minutes).
3. Strain broth through sieve and return to pot, boil again over medium heat. Reserve carrots.
4. Add tomato paste and yellow and purple potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft (approximately 20 minutes).
5. While yellow and purple potatoes are cooking, boil sliced mashing potatoes in water and beef bullion in separate pot. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat until potatoes start to fall apart (approximately 30 minutes).
6. Drain and reserve a quarter of the slices and mash the rest of the sliced potatoes. Add mashed and sliced potatoes to soup.
7. Remove bones and skin from chicken and discard. Cut chicken into strips 1 cm wide and 3 cm long.
8. Add chicken and peas to soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Slice the carrots into .5 cm thick rounds and add back into soup. Salt to taste.
9. Serve hot with garnishes available.