How to make Ajiaco ( Chicken and potato Colombian Soup)

There’s a certain magic in the way a hearty soup can summon feelings of home and hearth, especially one as robust and nurturing as the traditional Ajiaco (Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup). This dish is more than just a recipe; it’s a narrative of comfort woven into the fabric of Colombian culture, a staple that brings families together around the dinner table.

On days when the air carries a chill and the world outside seems to rush by in a blur, the thought of a simmering pot filled with tender chicken, soft potatoes, and the rich aroma of cilantro and garlic offers a sanctuary. It’s in these moments that I find myself drawn to the kitchen, seeking solace in the rhythmic chop of vegetables and the gentle bubbling of broth.

This soup, with its humble ingredients, speaks to the soul in a language of simplicity and nourishment. Each spoonful feels like an embrace, a reminder of shared meals and laughter. Whether it’s to gather loved ones for a casual meal or to find a moment of peace in a busy week, this Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup is my heartfelt invitation to slow down, savor, and reconnect with the joys of a home-cooked meal.

Ajiaco ( Chicken and potato Colombian Soup Recipe)

Ajiaco Colombian Chicken and Potato Stew Recipe

Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup, known as Ajiaco, is a traditional dish from Colombia that is deeply rooted in its cultural heritage. It’s a hearty and comforting soup that typically features three types of potatoes, corn on the cob, and chicken, all simmered together to create a rich and flavorful broth. The soup is often garnished with capers, avocado, and a dollop of cream, adding layers of texture and taste. A key ingredient is the guasca herb, which imparts a unique flavor that is essential to the authenticity of the dish. This soup is not just a meal but an experience, evoking a sense of warmth and community, often enjoyed during family gatherings and festive occasions. It’s a reflection of the Colombian spirit, offering sustenance and comfort with every spoonful.

Chicken and potato Colombian Soup

of my favorite’s soups. I can easily tell you that it is my favorite one, even though it is not from the region I grew up with (the Atlantic coast in Colombia). IF I  was to be faithful to my “costeñas” roots, the favorite should be “sanchocho” (from the Spanish verb sancochar) which is a type of stew or soup of beef, chicken or fish, vegetables and green and ripe plantains.
When I first move to Bogota and tried Ajiaco, I knew right there and then that this soup was something special. It is not only the actual soup, but all the garnishes you add to the soup after is cooked: the cream, the capers, avocado, that gives the Ajiaco that unique flavor!
You can make a big bash of soup and save left overs for the next day. There is nothing better tasting that a one day old ajiaco
The fact that I now reside in California, I am going to present you the recipe with the ingredients that are easy to find locally. It is not that easy to find “Papas Criollas” are small, creamy yellow Colombian potatoes with a unique buttery flavor and texture. They can occasionally be found frozen in Latin markets.
If unavailable, substitute small Yukon Golds or yellow fingerling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks. Same with a Colombian herb called “guascas” Try to find this herb as it gives the soup a wonderful flavor.
Here we go!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Soup
Cuisine Colombia
Servings 8 people
Calories 634 kcal


  • 1 bowl 
  • 1 big pot


  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 2 Cloves garlic minced
  • 2 bunches cilantro about 1 cup of cilantro leaves
  • 2 bunches of Green Onion about 12 green onions finely chopped
  • 3 Stalks of celery
  • 1 ½ lbs. round red potato peeled and sliced
  • 1 ½ lbs. Yukon gold potato peeled and sliced
  • 1 ½ lbs. Russet potato peeled and sliced
  • 3 ears fresh corn cut into 2 pieces each
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons de chicken broth
  • 8- 9 Cups of water add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, for at least a couple hours, 4 hours is best.
  • Garnish AJIACO Chicken and potato Colombian soup with:
  • Crema Mexicana or regular heavy cream if you can't find this one
  • Capers
  • Avocado
  • White rice


  • PEEL and SLICE the potatoes, and place them in a bowl with water. I use the mandolin food slicer for the potatoes. It makes your life easier and is done pretty quickly!
  • CUT the chicken and remove the skin. Add salt and pepper
  • CHOP the onion, celery and cilantro
  • CUT the ear corn in two or three pieces each
  • POUR water in a big pot and heat it up
  • ADD the cilantro, green onion and celery to the water, half of the sliced potatoes and the corn.
  • COOK over medium heat until the potatoes are completely tender and almost falling apart. Using whisk, mash potato pieces against side of pot and stir vigorously to thicken soup. This soup should be thick, with large chunks of potatoes still remaining.
  • ADD the chicken, the chicken broth and the rest of the potatoes, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least a couple of hours.
  • ADD water if you think the soup is too thick.
  • REMOVE from heat.
  • SERVE the Ajiaco immediately (Chicken and potato soup) like this:
  • o CHICKEN when the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and cut into little pieces and drop them back into the pot. (You can also serve the individual chicken pieces if you prefer).
  • o AVOCADO: Cut into slices and place in a tray. (I love the avocado in my soup!)
  • o HEAVY CREAM: Place in a serving dish so each individual can add to their taste.
  • o CAPERS: Place in a serving dish along with the vinegar.
  • o WHITE RICE This soup tastes delicious when you add a little of white rice. I know, I know, lots of carbs, but once in a while it is ok!
  • o CORN Place a peace of the corn in each individual soup bowl or you can cut the corn in the cob and add to the soup
  • o NOTE: Some people like to add “aji pique” a very Colombian onion and cilantro based- aji, it is really yummy with green onions, vinegar etc. I’ll add the recipe soon!


Keyword Chicken, potato

How to cook Ajiaco ( Chicken and potato Colombian Soup using slow cooker)

Colombian (Ajiaco) Chicken and Potato Soup - Food Fidelity

The slow cooker is a marvel when it comes to infusing flavors deeply and tenderly, making it ideal for the Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup. As you layer the chicken, potatoes, and corn into the vessel, there’s a sense of anticipation for the rich flavors that will develop over the hours. The slow simmering allows the essence of the guasca herb to meld harmoniously with the other ingredients, creating a broth that’s both robust and comforting. It’s a hands-off approach that feels like a gentle promise of a nourishing meal to come. As the day unfolds, the aroma fills the home, reminding us that good things come to those who wait. Serving this soup becomes a celebration of time and tradition, a bowlful of comfort that has patiently crafted its own depth and character.

Tips fof making Ajiaco Chicken and potato Colombian Soup

Recipe: Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup (Ajiaco) | The Kitchn

Cooking Tips

Crafting the Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup, or Ajiaco, is a journey through Colombia’s rich culinary landscape. Begin with patience, letting the chicken simmer until it’s tender enough to melt away from the bone, infusing the broth with its savory essence. The potatoes, varied in type, thicken the soup, each adding its own texture and flavor. Guasca, the herbaceous heart of the dish, weaves in an earthy note that’s irreplaceable. As you stir, let the slow dance of flavors remind you of the time-honored traditions this soup represents. Serve with a flourish of cream, capers, and avocado slices, creating a canvas of colors and tastes that comfort the soul. Each spoonful is a warm embrace, a celebration of simple ingredients uniting to nourish both body and spirit.

 Serving suggestion

Instant Pot Chicken Potato Soup (Stove Top Option) - Cotter Crunch

Serving Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup, or Ajiaco, is like offering a warm embrace on a plate. The key is in the garnishes—each carefully chosen to complement the soup’s rich flavors. A swirl of cream adds a luxurious touch, while capers lend a burst of briny brightness. Avocado slices contribute a buttery texture, creating a delightful contrast with the hearty broth. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and invite guests to customize their portions with these toppings. It’s a communal experience, a chance to gather and share not just a meal, but a piece of Colombian heritage that warms the soul and fills the heart with every spoonful.

Top 5 FAQs about Chicken and potato Colombian Soup

Instant Pot Chicken Potato Soup (Stove Top Option) - Cotter Crunch

  • What are the key ingredients that make Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup authentic? The authenticity of Ajiaco hinges on certain ingredients: multiple varieties of potatoes, typically including Andean creole, red, and russet; chicken; corn on the cob; and the herb guasca, which imparts a distinctive flavor. Accompaniments like capers, cream, and avocado are also traditional.
  • How can I achieve the right consistency for the soup? Achieving the perfect consistency involves using the right potato varieties. Some potatoes should dissolve to thicken the broth, while others remain firm for texture. Simmering the soup slowly allows the flavors to meld and the potatoes to break down appropriately.
  • Can I make Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup in a vegetarian version? Yes, a vegetarian version is possible by substituting chicken with vegetable broth and adding more vegetables or plant-based protein. The key is to maintain the flavors of the guasca and the variety of potatoes.
  • What if I can’t find guasca? Is there a substitute? While guasca is unique to Ajiaco, some suggest dried oregano combined with bay leaves as an alternative. However, this won’t replicate the exact flavor profile but can provide an herbal undertone to the soup.
  • How should I serve Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup? Serve Ajiaco hot, garnished with capers, avocado slices, and a dollop of cream. It’s traditionally accompanied by white rice and a side of aji, a Colombian chili pepper sauce, allowing individuals to customize their bowl to their taste preferences.

Chicken and Potato Colombian Soup, or Ajiaco, is more than just a dish—it’s a cultural emblem that captures the essence of Colombian hospitality and tradition. Each spoonful is a journey through the rich tapestry of flavors that define this beloved classic, from the hearty chunks of potato to the tender shreds of chicken, all swimming in a broth enriched with the distinctive taste of guasca. It’s a soup that offers comfort on a cold day and brings families together in celebration of their culinary heritage. The ritual of garnishing it with cream, capers, and avocado adds not only layers of flavor but also a personal touch to each serving, making the experience of enjoying Ajiaco both communal and individual. In its simplicity lies its beauty—a reminder that the most nourishing meals are often those that are made with love and shared with others.

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