Ajiaco Santafereño – Colombian Cooking Experience

This hearty soup is a specialty of the mountainous region around Bogotá, and one of Colombia’s most famous dishes. Aji is traditionally made with chiles that haven’t been seeded, but you’ll probably find it plenty spicy without the seeds. Leftover aji is delicious on roasted or grilled meats.

Ajiaco Santafereño

  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Persons: 8
  • Difficulty: High

  • Ingredients
  • 3 lb. cut-up chicken, skin removed, rinsed well
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 ears fresh corn, cut crosswise into quarters
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts only), cut into 1-inch rings, and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 lb. Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 lb. small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


  • Ajiaco Santafereño – Colombian Cooking Experience
  1. Instructions
  2. first of all, put the chicken in a large (at least 8-quart) stockpot and add 8 cups water. After, bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, frequently skimming off the foam that floats to the surface.
  3. Also, add all the vegetables, the garlic, the cilantro, and the bouillon cubes to the pot, along with the salt and pepper. Stir a few times to distribute the vegetables and submerge as many of the solids as possible. When the broth returns to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer. Stirring once or twice for 90 minutes. Taste for salt and add more if needed.Probably a good idea you taste it yourself.
  4. After using tongs or a slotted spoon, pick out the chicken pieces and put them on a large plate. Stir the soup with a large spoon, breaking up some of the potatoes to thicken the soup slightly. Keep hot. Or let cool and refrigerate.
  5. If chicken is cool enough. Eventually, pull the meat off the bones and shred it by hand because is easy this way. Finally discard the bones and tendons. Also, put the shredded chicken in a serving bowl.


  • For the garnishes:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1/2 cup nonpareil or other small capers, rinsed and drained (if using large capers, chop them coarsely)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
  1. The Aji
  2. 4 scallions (white and light green parts only)
  3. 1 medium tomato, peeled and seeded
  4. 1 small white onion, peeled
  5. 2 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles or 2 fresh hot red chiles, stems and seeds removed (wear gloves, and don’t touch your eyes)
  6. 3 Tbs. fresh cilantro leaves
  7. 3 Tbs. white vinegar
  8. 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Make the aji

Put all ingredients  in a food procesoruntil they’re minced. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve the ajiacoPut the avocados, sour cream or creme fraiche, capers and cilantro leaves in small bowls and set them on the table along with the bowls of shredded chicken and the aji. Reheat the soup if necessay and ladle it into large soup bowls, putting a quater ear of corn in each bowl. Let your guests add the garnishes and the aji as they like.