Ajiaco – Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup


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Indulge in the rich flavors of Colombian cuisine with our Ajiaco recipe. Ajiaco is a traditional chicken and potato soup that hails from Colombia, known for its hearty and comforting nature. This flavorful soup is a celebration of local ingredients, featuring tender chicken, a variety of potatoes, corn on the cob, and a blend of herbs and spices. Join us as we embark on a culinary journey to recreate this authentic Colombian dish, packed with flavor and perfect for chilly evenings. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to make a bowl of warm and satisfying Ajiaco.

Ajiaco, a hearty Colombian soup, is deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Colombia and its rich history. This dish holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of Colombians, with a history that goes back to the pre-Columbian era, evolving over centuries.

  • Pre-Columbian Origins: Ajiaco’s origins can be traced to the indigenous people of Colombia who made similar soups with local ingredients like potatoes, corn, and various herbs. These elements remain at the heart of the modern recipe.
  • Colonial Influences: The Spanish colonial period introduced new ingredients, such as chicken, to the indigenous dishes, helping shape what we now recognize as Ajiaco.
  • Regional Variations: Throughout Colombia, you can find diverse regional interpretations of Ajiaco, with each area adding its own unique flair. For example, Bogotá is famous for its three types of potatoes used in the soup.
  • Cultural Significance: Ajiaco is a beloved Colombian comfort food, enjoyed during gatherings, celebrations, and daily meals, making it a symbol of Colombian culinary heritage.

Ajiaco – Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup

Ajiaco is a classic Colombian dish that showcases the country's culinary traditions and diverse flavors. This chicken and potato soup is a staple in Colombian households, particularly in the capital city of Bogotá. The dish is known for its rich and creamy texture, achieved through a combination of different potato varieties and the inclusion of a native Colombian herb called guascas. The tender chicken, corn on the cob, and other aromatic ingredients add depth and complexity to the soup.

Our Ajiaco recipe stays true to the authentic flavors while offering step-by-step instructions to make it accessible for home cooks. The result is a bowl of warm and satisfying soup that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Colombia.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 2 hrs Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins Difficulty: Advanced Servings: 6 Calories: 492.39 Best Season: Winter


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant and translucent.

  2. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until they are lightly browned on all sides.

  3. Pour in the chicken broth and water, and bring the liquid to a boil. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the chicken for about 1 hour, or until it is tender and cooked through.

  5. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set them aside to cool. Once cooled, shred the meat using two forks and discard the skin and bones.

  6. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the Russet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and red potatoes. Stir to combine.

  7. Add the dried guascas to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to incorporate the flavors.

  8. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for another 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and have started to break down slightly, thickening the soup.

  9. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil the corn on the cob pieces in salted water for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the corn and set it aside.

  10. Once the soup is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro.

  11. To serve, ladle the Ajiaco into soup bowls. Place a few pieces of cooked corn on the cob in each bowl.

  12. Optional: Garnish with avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of capers.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 492.39kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17.95g28%
Saturated Fat 4.66g24%
Trans Fat 0.09g
Cholesterol 77.14mg26%
Sodium 1137.33mg48%
Potassium 1647.77mg48%
Total Carbohydrate 57.79g20%
Dietary Fiber 7.81g32%
Sugars 6.34g
Protein 26.01g53%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • If you can't find guascas, you can substitute it with dried oregano and a pinch of ground cumin for a similar flavor profile.
  • Ajiaco is traditionally served with capers, but if you're not a fan, you can omit them or substitute with sliced green olives.
  • Customize your Ajiaco by adding other vegetables such as peas or carrots. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead. Add extra vegetables like mushrooms or zucchini for a hearty vegetarian soup.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve Ajiaco as a main course accompanied by a side of white rice and avocado slices for a complete meal.
  • Enjoy it with a side of cornbread or crusty bread to soak up the delicious flavors.
Allergen Information:

When preparing Ajiaco, consider potential allergens:

  • Dairy: Traditional Ajiaco recipes include dairy, often in the form of cream or cheese. If you have dairy allergies, it's easy to omit or substitute these ingredients.

  • Gluten: Ajiaco typically does not contain gluten, but always verify the ingredients used for serving, such as bread or wheat-based sides.

  • Nuts: Some variations of Ajiaco might include nuts as a garnish. Be cautious if you or your guests have nut allergies.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing beverages with Ajiaco can enhance the experience:

  • Aguapanela: A traditional Colombian beverage made from unrefined sugar and water. It balances Ajiaco's flavors and adds a touch of sweetness.

  • Colombian Coffee: The deep, rich flavors of Colombian coffee complement the earthy tones of Ajiaco. It's a classic pairing enjoyed throughout the country.

  • Chicha: A fermented beverage made from maize, which pairs well with the corn in Ajiaco. It's a unique and regional choice.

Storage and Leftovers:

Dealing with leftovers or storing Ajiaco properly is important to maintain its flavors and textures:

  • Refrigeration: Store any remaining Ajiaco in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume it within 2-3 days.

  • Reheating: To reheat, gently warm the Ajiaco on the stovetop over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to maintain the consistency and prevent sticking.

  • Freezing: While it's not ideal due to the dairy content, Ajiaco can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat it on the stovetop while gradually stirring.

Keywords: Ajiaco, Colombian Cuisine, Chicken Soup, Potato Soup, Comfort Food, Colombian Recipes, Traditional Dish, Guascas, Corn on the Cob, Hearty Soup

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