Ajiaco is a delicious, vegan potato soup. It originates from Colombia. While the traditional recipe is not vegan, only by changing the stock it can be made vegan. For me, I think the vegan version is better, as the taste of the vegetables are the ones that stand out.
I wouldn’t have imagined I’m going to add avocado in a soup, but it works. Surprisingly it makes perfect sense. Also, it gives an extra texture and that is really nice.
It takes a long time to make the soup, but most of the time is spent waiting for the veggies to boil, so it is not a demanding dish to make. I’ve set up the timer, and then left it on its own, while I was working. To make things easier, I would suggest preparing all the veggies from the start, then only adding them when the time is right.
This soup needs two types of potatoes. The traditional one is with three, but I didn’t find the specific types of South American potatoes needed for this soup (papas criollas, the sabanera, and pastusa) in our shops. Hence, I’ve used two British varieties, King Edward and Jersey Royal. The soup is very thick and it would be delicious in the winter. But, because I’ve added a bit of lime, like the recipe suggested, it is also refreshing. I will add lime in my soups, just to give them an extra layer of taste.
The corn on the cob added in the soup was another thing I wasn’t sure about. It works and it looks fab. If you want to eat it easier, use only corn kernels. The soup can be served with capers. I didn’t find them in shop and didn’t have any at home, even though I love the taste of capers and I usually have a jar in the fridge.
Ingredients for 4 servings of Ajiaco:
– 3 medium Jersey Royal potatoes
– 1 medium King Edward potato
– 1 medium size red onion
– 1.25l vegetable stock
– 1 corn on the cob
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 large carrot
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 avocados
– 2 Spring onions
– 3 bay leaves
– lime juice from 1/2 of a lime
– sea salt
– black pepper
Wash, peel, and chop the onion, and the Jersey Royal potatoes in big cubes. Wash, peel, and chop the King Edward potato into small cubes. Put it in a bowl with water to have for later. Peel the garlic and mash it with a garlic masher. Wash, peel, and chop the carrot in cubes.
In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the salt and stir. When the oil is hot, but make sure you don’t burn it, add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir so the onions don’t stick to the pan. Now add the garlic and the carrot and stir. Leave to cook for a minute or two.
While the veggies are cooking, heat the vegetable stock in another pan. After the garlic is cooked, pour the boiling vegetable stock over the veggies. Add the Jersey Royal potatoes, the bay leaves, and pepper. Increase the heat until the soup starts to boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes, with a lid on top, slightly ajar.
Meanwhile, prepare the corn cobs, by slicing them. Be careful, it is quite hard to slice them. Wash and cut a lime in half, pressing to extract the juice. Wash and chop the spring onions.
After those 25 minutes, when the potatoes are boiled, take the lid off and, using a fork, crush the potatoes by pressing them against the sides of the pan. This will thicken the soup.
Now add the King Edward potato, the corn cobs, and the spring onions. Stir, put the lid on top, and leave it to simmer for another 20 minutes. When the time is up, taste and add more salt if you think is necessary. Add some of the lime juice, keeping a teaspoon or two for the avocados. Remove the bay leaves from the soup.
The soup is ready to be served. Using a ladle, scoop the soup into the bowls. Cut the avocados and sprinkle lime juice on them, so they don’t change their colour. Slice them and put half of avocado in each bowl.