A Colombian delight to share with the family
It is no secret to anyone that food is the moment that brings families together around the table. When it is time for dinner, families find a space to meet, talk and share special moments. This, regardless of the country where you are from, or where you live. For LARM family, generating meeting spaces is valued, so today we want to share a little bit of an important tradition made in Bootá, which has already become Colombian: El “ajiaco”.
“Ajiaco” is a generic name that was given to soups in various countries of Hispanic-America; “Ají - aco”, however, ours does not have “ají” better known as hot spicy, unlike other soups in Cuba, Chile and Peru.
This preparation was developed at the time of the colony (1,550-1,810) and is attributed to the “Muiscas”: Indigenous culture that inhabited the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá in Colombia.
They prepared a soup of potato, onion, corn and “guascas” (this is a wild plant that grows as "bad grass" in the field, and is the fundamental ingredient of the “ajiaco”, which later included ingredients from the old continent such as chicken, cream of milk and capers.
At all the tables in our homes in this region, we serve our delicious “ajiaco”, as a sample of our identity, our roots, without missing the main ingredient "Love" to choose each ingredient, take them to our kitchens and achieve the perfect mixture that It also allows us to feed, delight and share with the family.
Ingredients for four people
14 cups of water
2 chicken breasts
2 corns chopped in into 4 pieces
1 coriander sprig
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of guascas that is divided into two parts.
2 long onion stalks (only the white part cut into small pieces)
2 pounds of “pastusa” potato, peeled and sliced
2 pounds of “sabanera” potato, peeled and sliced
2 pounds of “criolla” potato, peeled and cut into slices (one pound at the beginning and the other in the middle of cooking)
Ingredients to put on the table as an accompaniment to the “ajiaco”:
1 cup of milk cream
1 small jar of capers
2 avocados, chopped in small squares
Put the water in a medium saucepan, and add the chicken, the onion, the garlic, the coriander, the corns, half a bunch of the “guascas”, the “pastusa”, potato a pound of “papa criolla” (this in addition to giving flavor gives color), and salt. Cook for approximately 45 minutes.
When the chicken is ready, it is removed, shredded and reserved. Then add the rest of the “papa criolla” and the “sabanera” potatoes over low heat. You should observe the thickness of the soup and stir it so that the potatoes do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once the corns are soft, and the soup is thick enough, add the other half bunch of “guascas”, (these are removed at the end) and you can add more warm water if necessary.
Serve the soup in deep plates, and on the table we suggest you to put: a small plate or tray with the shredded chicken, another with the capers, a container with the cream of milk and another with the avocado in pieces; we usually accompany the “ajiaco” with white rice that is placed in another tray.
Each member of the family serves and places the ingredients of the trays inside the “ajiaco”, except for the rice.
Enjoy your meal!
I forgot to tell you that the perfect pairing for this “ajiaco” is “Curuba” juice prepared in milk and with sugar. Enjoy it!
Now that you know how to prepare a good “ajiaco”, you can feel a bit more colombian. Don´t be afraid use these very colombian words to ask to your “vecino” for “papa sabanera, papa criolla, papa pastusa and guascas”.
¡LARM, your home away from home!