I used to eat ajiaco at Timo's when I was especially cold, or feeling under-the-weather. It's a gorgeous Colombian chicken & potato soup with tasty garnishes. You use several sorts of potatoes - a starchy potato to thicken the soup, and slices of a waxy potato to chew on. Créme frâiche, corn, cilantro, capers, avocado, and a side of chunky salsa complete this meal-in-a-bowl. Jen, your grandmother's chicken soup reminds me of this one, a little.

1 onion, diced small
1 tsp olive or peanut oil
5-8 oz roasted, shredded chicken meat
3/4 lb starchy potatoes, cut into chunks (I used red creamers)
1/3 lb waxy potatoes, in half-inch thick slices (fingerlings are fun)
5-6 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp coriander
salt & pepper, to taste

To Garnish:
Chunky salsa, of choice
2 tbsp capers
créme frâiche or sour cream
avocado, diced
3 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro

1. Sautée the onion in the oil over high heat until it begins to color. Add chicken stock, and scrape up any tasty browned bits that have stuck to the bottom. Add the chunks of starchy potatoes. Add some salt, and the coriander.

2. Simmer soup until potatoes are tender (~20 minutes). Roughly purée. (Immersion/stick blenders are great for this.) Return to heat; add potato slices. Cook until slices are tender to the bite. Add corn; cook one more minute. Stir in chicken; adjust salt and pepper levels to your liking.

3. Ladle soup into wide bowls, and top with a generous spoon of créme frâiche, a teaspoon of capers, a handful of avocado, and some cilantro. Serve with a small bowl of chunky salsa on the side.

Notes: I leave the skins on my potatoes for this soup. Russell would prefer it if I peeled the sliced potatoes. Sometimes I do that when I'm not using fingerlings.

Posted by shock on January 31, 2005 | TrackBack

That sounds absolutely delicious... and it is reminiscent of my grandma's soup! I'm definitely putting this on my "to try" list!

Posted by: jenblossom on January 31, 2005 8:39 AM

I made this the other night and it was a big hit, definitely lovely rainyday food! Grandma says thumbs up!

Posted by: Kia on February 19, 2005 11:44 AM

Hi, I found your recipe and out of curiosity I checked. I see that ajiaco has many variations but for an authentic recipe you need "guascas" an herb only found in Colombia - or from a generous Colombian friend who might share some -which gives this soup the ajiaco flavor or otherwise is just potato soup. You also need the small yellow potatoes, that can be substiruted here in the US with Yukon potatoes in addition to other firmer white and/or red potatoes. The chicken is not fried but cooked in the pot. Everything else is just the same for the "real Bogota ajiaco"
Try it and enjoy it.

Posted by: M. Pineros on March 29, 2005 3:44 PM

Hi! "Guascas" is an abundent weed in most of the US: we call it quickweed or galinsoga. You can find it growing in many vegetable gardens, but people don't know what it is so they pull it up. Look online ofr pics so you can identify it. It's not hard to find. Some consider it invasive. It's tasty as a boiled green served with butter and vinegar too. Good luck! :-)

Posted by: catbird on October 30, 2005 3:51 PM
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