Monday, August 31, 2009


Our Spanish lesson today involved learning how to prepare the traditional Ajiaco soup, which originated in Bogota. Our language tutor Marta was kind enough to share with us her family recipe. Our friend and fellow MCCer Elizabeth joined us for this lesson, and all the while Marta quized us on vocabulary and verbs associated with cooking.

Colombian Ajiaco

Boil approximately 3 quarts of water.
Add two cloves of garlic (diced) and two carrots (whole, but cut in a cross on the end.)
Add two chicken breasts and 6 ears of corn, cut into segments and continue to boil.

Wrap a bundle of cilantro, parsley, large green onion, and spinach leaves together with twine.
Add the bundle to the pot.

Slice three different kinds of potatoes and add to the pot.

1. 6 criollas (small, similar to a new potato)
2. 6 pastusas (round-shaped potato)
3. 10 sabaneras (round, bumpy, red skinned, hard potato)

Cook until the potatoes are soft.
Add two cubes of chicken broth and two teaspoons salt.
Remove the carrot, bundle of herbs, and chicken.
Take our some potatoes and smash or puree them. Return to the pot.

Shredd the chicken (in very small pieces) and return it to the pot.

Add guascas leaves (this is a herb you can only find in Colombia, so it will have to be made without in the US....we tried to think of a substitute, but could not find one.)

This soup is traditionally topped with heavy cream, capers, and picado.

Picado is made by mixing chopped large green onions (only the softer, bendy kind because they are not as "macho"), the whispy part of the cilantro leaves, a small amount of olive oil, water, and salt. If you want, you can add a pepper to spice this up, but that is not very common.

Ajiaco is also commonly served with a small portion of rice and a 1/4 of an avacodo, which you scoop into your spoon before dipping into the soup.

It was delicious!


  1. Three comments:

    1. Marta is a keeper.

    2. I will bet that guascas leaves will make the list of "things we miss most about Colombia".

    3. I want to make Ajiaco as soon as possible!