Mar 27, 2020

Colombian Ajiaco Soup

Colombian Ajiaco Soup
(simplified Americanized version
of Bogota chicken & potato soup)

Hi! Remember me? I know! I really didn't fall off the planet.

We just recently returned from an 11 day trip to Bogota,
Colombia. By the time our trip had ended, things were already
going haywire due to the Corona virus sweeping the planet.
Thanks everyone for not saving us any toilet paper!
Truthfully, I was scared to death that we wouldn't
be able to fly home. Some countries in
South America were closing their borders
and I knew Colombia at some point would follow.
I was even afraid after we got in the air they would
turn the plane around and make us go back.
Hey, I loved Bogota, but I was getting mighty homesick.
If we could just get to Ft. Lauderdale I knew we could get
the rest of the way to Arizona one way or another.
Well, things weren't quite as exciting as I had feared.
We got back to Arizona without a hitch and I was immediately
itching to make this soup!
While in Bogota, this recipe was served to us twice and
I ordered it one more time in a restaurant.
I just couldn't get enough of it.
I love it's beauty, it's simplicity, and the special flavor of the guascas,
which I had never tasted or heard of before.
The closest thing I can compare the flavor to is artichokes.
It's a special plant that grows around Bogota,
hence this is also sometimes called Bogota soup.
Apparently it grows in the US in a couple of places too.
You can make my Americanized version start to finish in about 30 minutes.

5 medium russet potatoes
5 small red potatoes
2 TB chicken bouillon powder
2 cans chicken (Costco)
1 can corn, drained

Cooked white rice
½ cup sour cream
3 TB drained capers (Amazon link)

Cut the potatoes into small’ish chunks and put into soup pot.  Cover with water just barely above the potato line. Cook until potatoes are soft, but NOT MUSHY.  Use a potato masher to partially mash the potatoes right in the water. You still want chunks of potatoes, but enough of them mashed that it thickens the soup.
Add the remaining soup ingredients and let simmer a few minutes until guascas is rehydrated.

Serve with sides.  

In Colombia they don’t use canned ingredients, it’s all fresh, and the corn is actually cooked in the soup on the cob.  It’s really pretty, but I’m not really a corn still on the cob kind of girl, so I used canned. They cook their chicken from scratch and sometimes even serve that shredded on the side.  Also, in Colombia you do not put your rice and avocados into your soup, you eat them separately as sides. So if you want to be authentic, do that. But I sorta like to just throw it all in there and enjoy it together.  I feel guilty even saying that, cuz tradition is tradition and I’m just raking this over the coals. The Colombian people are the most gracious giving people I’ve ever met and I hate to downplay tradition, but my laziness is winning on this one.  Bottom line...I like recipes that are easy and fast!  And most importantly, it tasted exactly the same!

                Chow Chao!

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