Ajiaco Bogotano (Colombian Potato and Chicken Soup)

From Sophie Grigson, a hearty South American meal-in-a-bowl with delicious accompaniments: hot sauce, egg salad and avocado
By Sophie Grigson
Ajiaco Bogotano (Colombian Potato and Chicken Soup)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 litres milk
  • 1 litres water
  • 450 g red-skinned potatoes, (such as Desirée)diced
  • 450 g white potatoes, (such as King Edwards or Cara)diced
  • 500 g small new potatoes, scrubbed and thickly sliced
  • 4 corn on the cobs
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • black pepper

For the egg salad:

  • 1 egg, hard-boiled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp double cream or soured cream
  • black pepper

For the hot pepper sauce:

  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • sugar

To serve:

  • 5 tbsp capers
  • 250 ml soured cream, or crème fraîche
  • 2 ripe medium avocado

Method

1. Fry the onion gently in the oil in a large saucepan until tender, without browning. Add the garlic and thyme and fry gently for about 1 more minute.

2. Raise the heat and add the chicken pieces. Fry until lightly browned.

3. Add the milk, water, all three types of potato, and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken pieces with a perforated spoon and as soon as they are cool enough to handle, shred into small pieces.

5. Stir the soup with a wooden spoon to help the potatoes break down and thicken the soup.

6. Add the sweetcorn and continue cooking over medium heat for another 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the sweetcorn is tender.

7. Add the herbs and shredded chicken, and cook for a final minute or two. Taste and adjust seasoning.

8. While the soup is cooking prepare all the garnishes. To make the egg salad, mix all the ingredients and spoon into a small bowl.

9. To make the hot pepper sauce, mix the ingredients, adding salt and sugar to taste, and place in another small bowl.

10. Put the capers and cream in separate bowls. Just before serving, peel and slice the avocado and arrange on a plate. Put all of these in the centre of the
table.

11. Ladle the soup into deep bowls and encourage everyone to help themselves to the various garnishes.

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