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Prue Leith's Ajiaco - Columbian chicken and potato soup

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1 large chicken4 pts chicken stock2 garlic cloves, crushed1 lb small new or salad potatoes scrubbed3 medium Maris Piper, peeled and sliced (optional)Small teacup of dried Guasca leaves. (If you can’t get them, don’t worry, but it’s what makes the soup taste Colombian!)6 fresh or frozen on the cob, cut into 2 – 3 chunks4 spring onions, cleaned and cut into one inch pieces1 teacup fresh coriander leaves

⅓ pint double cream ½ jar small capers, rinsed well and drained3 - 4 ripe avocados 

Serves 8 for main course


  1. Put the chicken in a large pan with the stock and the garlic. Bring to a boil. Simmer 50 minutes or until the chicken thigh feels tender when pierced and the leg will wobble. 
  2. Lift out the chicken and set aside. When cool enough to handle remove the skin and bones and cut the flesh into large chunks (use a sharp knife and cut the breast against the grain - don't shred into stringy bits). Cover the chicken with an upturned bowl while you continue with the soup. 
  3. Into the stock put both types of potato and the guascas. Cook until the Maris Piper are breaking up, about 20 mins. Then add the corn chunks and cook for 10 mins. 
  4. Add the spring onions and coriander leaves. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper and ground sea salt to taste. Return the chicken to the pan and reheat gently.  
  5. Serve each person, making sure they get liquid, chicken, corn and soup.
  6. Serve the Ajiaco hot with capers, heavy cream and avocado slices on the side.
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