Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Soup from my youth..

Some of you know that when I was younger, I lived in Bogota, Colombia. I thought I would take some of the "comfort food" from my youth and post the Recipes here.

This sou;p is called Ajiaco.. I think it is delicious and it's not very hard to make. However. FOLLOW the ingredients or you will never get an authentic flavor. The critical ingredient is the Guascas.. That seems to be the foundational flavor of the soup.
Also, here in the United States we cannot get the same potatoes that they use there (A variation of yellow ones that dont fall apart in hot water like Russets seem to do) That being said, I think you will find this easy to make and tasty.
I halved this recipe and used a 12 inch deep DO. The Volcano, natch, was the heat source.



12" deep Dutch Oven
potato peeler

3 pounds  chicken breast, on the bone with skin (or 1 whole chicken, cut into parts)
6 quarts water
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

6 pounds  new red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 pounds  papas criollas (in the U.S. use Dutch Creamer, Baby Dutch Yellow, Yukon Gold, or Yellow Finn potatoes), cut into 1-inch chunks (In Utah country sometimes you can find them at Tenochitlan)
4 ears corn on the cob (fresh or frozen), cut into 3-inch pieces

2 handfuls of Guascas (about 5 g dried or 10 g fresh)

cilantro leaves
Crema Mexicana (or regular heavy cream if you can’t find the other)
avocados, sliced
cooked rice


 1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the DO, sprinkle with a handful of guascas, and add water. Bring to a boil and cook until the meat is tender. Remove chicken and set aside. Cover with foil and keep warm.

2. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least a couple hours, 4 hours is best. The yellow potatoes should start to break up in the soup, but if not, you can help the soup along by mashing some of the yellow potatoes in the pot.

3. Once the cooked chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones. Cut the meat into small pieces and drop them back into the pot.

4. About 5 minutes before serving, add the remaining guascas and let it cook for 5 minutes, then serve.5. Serve in deep bowls, making sure that each bowl gets some chicken and a piece of corn on the cob. Garnish with a dollop of heavy cream, capers, and cilantro leaves. You can eat the avocado on the side with the rice, or you can cut a slice into pieces and drop into your soup bowl. (I like the avocado chunks in my soup.)

Give it a whirl.. I think you will like it.. And I can report to my wifes grandmother that she will live on forever in her recipes.

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