Traditional Ajiaco Colombiano - Colombian Soup with potato, chicken, avocado
Food - Drink
Ajiaco: Colombia's Hearty Chicken Soup Packed With Vegetables
What is Ajiaco?
Pronounced "ah-hyah-koh," ajiaco is a potato-based soup that is popular throughout Latin America, but predominantly in Peru, Cuba, and Colombia. The soup is loaded with three kinds of potatoes — criolla, sabanera, and pastusa — along with chicken, corn, and seasonings for a creamy and hearty meal.
Potatoes have been cultivated in Colombia for some 1,800 years, so it’s no wonder they make appearances in many Colombian foods. While Colombians claim ajiaco was created by the indigenous Chibcha, Cubans believe ajiaco Cubano first originated with the Caribbean Taíno tribe and predates the Colombian version.
When it comes to ajiaco, not any potato will do, and a traditional version will include criolla, sabanera, and pastusa potatoes. Chicken and minty guasca leaves are also included along with corn on the cob, cream, and capers for a slightly minty yet indulgently savory stew that is often served with rice and avocado.
Not all ajiaco is the same, and while all ajiaco features potatoes, the stew looks slightly different in Colombia, Peru, and Cuba. Cuban ajiaco can feature different meat like pork, chicken, or beef, along with potatoes and vegetables, and the Peruvian style incorporates garlic, dried peppers, and mint.
Where Is It Served?
Ajiaco can be found throughout Colombia, but it is mostly connected with the capital city of Bogotá, where it is a favored comfort food. In Bogotá, you can head to the oldest restaurant in the city, La Puerta Falsa, dating back to 1816, for a bowl of traditional ajiaco, or you can find it in many Colombian restaurants stateside.