It’s World Cup time again and I made the bold choice of picking Colombia going all the way since neither the Netherlands and the United States made it. During the first stage when Colombia played Poland, I invited my Colombian neighbors to watch the match in my apartment. They brought their family and we ended up being a full, fun house.
How do you entertain die-hard Colombian fans watching soccer? You serve them one of their national soups, sancocho. Together with ajiaco, it’s one of the soups that I ended up always ordering while traveling around Colombia a few years ago. I will never forget how hearty it was with the potatoes, plantains, and corn. Even though the weather didn’t call for hot soup then, it didn’t stop me from ordering either one. And now that we are experience a heatwave in New York City, a bowl of it brings back those memories.
7 cloves garlic
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded, chopped
1 green bell pepper, deseeded, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 habañero chile, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped in 3 parts
3 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes
1 tbsp cumin, grounded
1 3-to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 small yucca, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 green plantain, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 ripe plantains, peeled, cut into 3-inch pieces
5 medium-sized potatoes, quartered
4 ears corn, cut in 3 pieces
1. In a food processor, purée the garlic, carrots, peppers, onion, chile, and cilantro.
2. In a large pot, combine the purée with about 1 gallon of water, the bouillon cubes, and cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for another 20 minutes.
4. Add the yucca and green plantain and simmer for 10 minutes more. Add the ripe plantains, potatoes, and corn and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Try the Colombian ajiaco too