Jul 5 2012

How to make ‘ajiaco bogotano’ soup from Colombia (recipe)

CFCA serves more than 22,000 sponsored children and elderly in Colombia. Many sponsored children in Bogota like to eat “ajiaco bogotano” soup with their families on special occasions such as Christmas, Easter or a birthday lunch.

Martha, member and leader of a CFCA mothers group in Bogota, Colombia, teaches us how to prepare “ajiaco bogotano,” a delicious and traditional chicken and potato soup. This soup can also be served with rice and a slice of delicious avocado!
ajiaco bogotano


  • 3.5 pounds of chicken (quartered and skin removed)
  • One-fourth of an onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 white carrot
  • 6 scallions (white portion only)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 quarts water (or a mixture of 3 quarts water and 1 quart milk for a richer taste)
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 pounds red bliss potatoes (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 pounds papa criolla* (Colombian yellow potatoes)
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 packet (0.35 ounces) of dried guascas* (an herb used often in Colombian cooking. Other names are Galinsoga, quickweed or “Gallant Solider.”
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro for garnishing
  • Rice (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Chili sauce (optional)
  • This item should be available in any Hispanic grocery store.

ajiaco bogotano
Cook the chicken, potatoes, white carrot, onion, scallions, garlic, corn and salt and pepper in the water and milk mixture until the meat is tender and the potatoes have dissolved.

ajiaco bogotano
Next, remove the chicken and onion with a large spoon.

shred chicken
You can either shred the chicken and add it back to the pot, or keep the chicken pieces intact and serve a portion of the chicken on each plate. You can also serve the meat mixed with crËme fraiche.

Martha making ajiaco bogotano
Add guascas 5 minutes before serving, and add the bouillon cubes as a final touch. Chili sauce may be added to the soup to increase flavor. The ears of corn are served whole and may be served with or without chili sauce.

Martha, mothers group leader
This tasty dish is served with chili, rice, cilantro and sliced avocado. Capers and cream may also be added to this dish.

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2 thoughts on “How to make ‘ajiaco bogotano’ soup from Colombia (recipe)”

  1. I first met this soup at my school. One of the mothers made this soup and sold portions to teachers for lunches. I am glad to know that it comes from Columbia. It seems really healthy and relatively cheap to make and serve. Ours had raw onion, rice, cilantro, and salsa to add. Vegetables were potato, carrot, yellow squash, corn and onion. She included one chicken piece–leg or thigh–with skin on in the soup.

  2. Yes, it is good. My wife’s family makes this soup. What I like are the fresh ingredients in the soup. In the United States we are used to buying the canned soups for convenience.

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