Colombian Chicken Soup

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
2 hr

Yield:
6 first-course servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, skinned and cut into 8 pieces, plus 1 whole chicken breast, skinned and cut in 1/2
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 medium rib celery, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stems only (leaves reserved for soup)
  • For the soup:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium rib celery, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lemon or lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Bijol (available at Spanish grocery stores) or a pinch each of ground cumin and saffron threads
  • For the salsa:
  • 1 large very ripe tomato, halved, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and mashed into a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and very finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • Salt
Directions
  • Combine all the ingredients for the stock in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, skimming any foam from the top of the stock as it simmers, until the chicken is fall-from-the-bone tender. Add water, as necessary, to keep the stock ingredients covered.

  • Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve, discarding everything except the boiled chicken, and return the stock to the rinsed-out pot. Remove the chicken from the bones and shred into small pieces. Set aside.

  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes to the stock and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

  • While the soup is simmering, combine the lemon or lime juice, garlic, cilantro leaves, scallions, oil, Bijol, and a tablespoon of the soup broth in a small bowl and mash into a paste with a fork.

  • Also while the soup is simmering, prepare the salsa by combining all ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl and mixing well. Season, to taste, with salt just before serving.

  • When the potatoes are tender, add the reserved chicken and seasoning paste to the soup and stir well to combine. Allow the soup to return to a simmer, then remove from the heat, and let sit, covered, 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with a spoonful of the salsa.


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