Ajiaco Bogotano

Chicken and Potato Soup


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 10 to 12


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

This soup is a heartwarming concoction that everybody just loves. It is a chicken and potato soup flavored with an herb called guascas*. It is typical of the country’s capital city of Santa Fé de Bogotá and of the department of Cundinamarca. This is what my children have their grandmother prepare for them when we visit.


  • 1 pound beef ribs or bones
  • 6 whole ears of corns
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 whole chicken breasts, with excess fat and skin removed
  • 2 whole green onions*
  • ¼ bunch cilantro
  • 36 small white potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 24 medium yellow or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 18 small red potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups julienned guascas* (stems removed)
  • 1 cup capers, for serving
  • 1 cup heavy cream, for serving


  1. In a medium stockpot or pressure cooker, place the beef, corn, teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add 4 cups of water. Simmer for 1½ hours, or cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Remove the beef and corn and set aside. Reserve the stock for later use.
  2. In a separate large stockpot, place 10 cups of water, the chicken breasts, green onions, cilantro, and tablespoon of salt. Cover, bring to a boil over medium heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Uncover, remove and set aside the chicken breasts, and discard the green onions and cilantro. Add the white potatoes and the reserved beef stock, and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Add the rest of the potatoes and the guascas, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more. Season with more salt and pepper and serve with the chicken and corn (cut in half).
  5. Serve with the capers and cream on the side.