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Knife-and-fork soups from Colombia.

Chicken simmered in broth is the base for these two knife-and-fork soups from Colombia. Punctuated with a colorful variety of summer vegetables and accented with fresh lime and avocado, they make light but interesting one-bowl entrees for summer entertaining.

The popular Colombian soup ajiaco varies with each cook, though almost everyone uses chicken and potato. This version enjoys the heft of two kinds of potato, plus chunks of corn on the cob, in an aromatic broth. Serve with a pitcher of cream and capers, avocado wedges, and cilantro to add individually and embellish the cumin-scented broth.

The boiled dinner, sancocho bogotano, steeps golden crookneck squash halves, green zucchini, and cabbage wedges in a tomato-enriched broth. Cooked plantain gives a touch of banana-like sweetness. Yucca, a mild, potato-like root used in many Central and South American dishes, can also be added--sweet potato is an alternative. Fresh plantains and yucca are available in Mexican, Central American, and some Filipino and specialty markets; yucca is also sold frozen.

After all the vegetables are done, lift them out and serve them in a handsome display, alongside a tureen of broth. Guests help themselves to meat and vegetables, then spoon broth over them, adding lime or chili-spiced avocado sauce to taste. Both soups can be made partially ahead. Shortly before serving, gently reheat over low heat, then add vegetables. Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup 1 broiler-fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 lbs.), cut into serving pieces 3 quarts regular-strength beef broth 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 large onions, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves 3/j teaspoon ground cumin 1 pound small to medium-size (1-1/2-to 3-in. diameter) red thin-skinned potatoes; cut larger ones in half 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 1 bay leaf 3 ears corn, husked and cut into 1-inch slices 1 cut chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 2 firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into quarters 1/2 cut thinly sliced green onion 1/3 cut drained capers 1 cup whipping cream Lime wedges

In an 8- to 10-quart pan, combine chicken (except breast), broth, russet potato, onion, garlic, thyme, and cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Add breast, thin-skinned potatoes, carrots, and bay; cover and simmer until breast is no longer pink when cut in thickest part and potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill. Lift off fat. Simmer, covered, until hot.) Skim off fat and discard. Add corn and simmer, covered, until hot, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls. Pass cilantro, avocado, green onion, capers, cream, and lime to add to individual servings. Serves 4 to 6. Colombian Boiled Dinner q pound mild Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices 1 tablespoon salad oil 3 quarts regualar-strength chicken broth 2 large yellow-skinned plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths (optional) 1 broiler-fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 lbs.), cut into serving pieces 2 large onions, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced 2 pounds tomatoes, cored, peeled, and chopped 1 bay leaf 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 cup long-grain white ice 1 pound sweet potato or yucca, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices 8 to 12 small or 4 medium-size whole red thin-skinned potatoes (1-1/2-to 3-in. diameter); cut larger ones in half 1 medium-size head (about 1 lb.) cabbage, quartered through core 3 small crookneck squash, ends trimmed off, cut in half lengthwise 2 large zucchini, ends trimmed off, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths 1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) Salt and pepper Salsa de aji (recipe follows) Lime wedges

In a 10- to 12-quart pan, combine sausage and oil; stir over medium heat until lightly browned. Add broth, plantains, chicken (except for breast), onion, garlic, tomato, bay, cumin, rice, sweet potato, and thin-skinned potatoes. Bring to boiling, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Add breast; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender when pierced and breast is no longer pink when cut in thickest part, about 20 minutes. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill. Liff off fat. Simmer, covered, until hot.) Skim off and discard fat.

Place cabbage, crookneck squash, and zucchini in soup; cover and simmer until cabbage is just barely tender when pierced, 7 to 9 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift out vegetables, chicken, and sausage; arrange on a large platter and keep warm. Add vinegar and cilantro to broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a tureen. To eat, place meat and vegetables in wide bowls, then fill with broth. Pass salsa and lime to add individually. Serves 4 to 6.

Salsa de aji. Mix together 2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed; 2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped; 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander); 1/4 cup olive oil; 2 tablespoons white vinegar; and 2 to 6 fresh hot green chilies, seeded and minced. Add salt to taste.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jun 1, 1984
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