Ajiaco soup served in a large white, shallow bowl
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Ajiaco

Ajiaco is a hearty soup that’s popular in Cuban cuisine. This soup includes pork and beef and a showcase of tropical vegetables.
Course Soup
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword cuban food, soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 448kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion small dice
  • 1 Carrot diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoon Salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 pound Smoked Ham Shank or Ham Hocks sliced into pieces if available
  • ½ pound Flank Steak cut into small cubes
  • ½ pound Pork Stew Meat cut into small cubes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 12 cups Water
  • 1 Platano Verde Plantain, peeled and cut into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 Malanga peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Yuca small to medium size, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Corn Cobs cut into 8 -12 rounds
  • 1 Boniato peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound Pumpkin peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Platano Pinton Semi-Ripe Plantain, peeled and cut into ½ inch rounds

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and carrots to the pot. Gently cook the onions and carrots for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper to the pot. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add the ham shank, flank steak, pork stew meat and 1 teaspoon of salt, stir well. 
  • Cook the meat, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes to brown the meat a little bit.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir well.
  • Add 12 cups of water.
  • Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.
  • Cook the soup for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the soup gets started, prep the vegetables

  • Peel and cut the green plantain, malanga and yuca first and place those together in one bowl.
  • Prep the corn, boniato, pumpkin and the platano pinton (semi-ripe plantain), they will go in the second batch.
  • After the meat has cooked for 1 hour, remove the ham shanks from the pot and set them on a cutting board or pan. Allow the ham shanks to cool.
  • Add the green plantains, malanga and yuca to the pot. Raise the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook the soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When the ham shanks are cool enough to handle, remove the fat and the bone and discard. Chop the meat and add it back to the pot.
  • Add the corn, boniato, pumpkin and platano pinton (semi-ripe plaintain) to the pot. Again, raise the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook the soup for 30 more minutes. Or, until all of the vegetables are fork tender.
  • Taste the ajiaco and add salt to taste.

Video

Notes

The vegetables are going into the soup at different times so keep that in mind while you’re doing the prep.
 
They’re going into the pot in this order First batch: green plantain, malanga and yuca Second batch: corn, boniato, pumpkin and the semi-ripe plantain.
 
Peel and cut the green plantain, malanga and yuca first and place those together in one bowl. Keep in mind that some of these root vegetables look really similar when they’re peeled because they’re white on the inside.
 
Then, prep the corn, boniato, pumpkin and the platano pinto (semi-ripe plantain), they will go in as the second batch. Separate the vegetables in different bowls and group them. Keep the boniato in a bowl of water, like a potato, because it slows the browning process.

Nutrition

Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 840mg | Potassium: 1235mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 9010IU | Vitamin C: 35.3mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 3.2mg