Asopao is a rice soup. It is made with either chicken, pork, beef, seafood or vegetables.
The origin of asopao is unclear but rice in soup isn't unfamiliar and can be traced back before the Americans harvest rice. Rice soup can be traced back to Asia known as congee. Latin and Caribbean asopao is not as thick as congee and is more linked to Canja de galinha a chicken a rice soup from Portugal before the Portuguese traveled to the Americans.
Colombia - Asopao in Colombia is known as sopa de arroz (rice soup). Rice and Soup are staples in Colombia. The rice is stewed with chicken, bouillon cubes, potatoes, carrots and aliños. Aliños is a sauce made from cumin, scallions, peppers, onions, garlic and annatto. Sopa de arroz is eaten with avocado and bananas on the side.
Cuba - Asopao is Cuban comfort food. The soup is made with rice, chicken, smoked ham, olives, cumin, sofrito, oregano and tomato sauce. Asopao like most Cuban stews and soups is garnished with cilantro and avocado.
Dominican Republic - Asopao to many Dominicans would consider heresy to label it as a foreign import. The dish is usually prepared on special occasions, such as birthdays. The soup is usually cooked with chicken or shrimp. Asopao in the Dominican Republic is almost ever time cooked with beer, sofrito, bouillon cubes, olives, capers and sour orange.
In the Dominican Republic making asopao with pigeon peas are every popular. The soup is usually made after Christmas. The peas are cooked with squash, sofrito and left over roasted pork.
Puerto Rico – Asopao is Puerto Ricos national soup. Asopao first appeared in the 1800s in restaurants in Puerto Rico. From there it has been a great phenomenon in most Puerto Rican restaurants, big and small. Most chefs even have their own recipe for asopao. Puerto Rican asopao has been said to be a cross from American gumbo and Spanish paella. First noted recipe are a mixture of rice, chicken, chorizo, shellfish, alcaparrado (stuffed olives and capers), white wine, sofrito and garnished with green peas and finally diced carrots. Most popular asopaos are asopao de pollo (chicken asopao) and asopao de mariscos (shellfish asopao) made with saffron broth, scallops, mussels, shrimp, lobster, clams and oysters.
Asopao de gandules uses pigeon peas instead of rice. The soup is made all vegetarian, pork or ox-tail. Ox-tail asopao starts cooking on the stove top slowly for hours before dinner. The ox-tail is first browned on high-heat in annatto oil. Once brown they are removed and sofrito, bay leaves, olives, capers and other spices are added. The sofrito cooks until all of its water is gone. Dumplings are also added, this makes the soup thicker. Dumplings are often made the night before. Green bananas, squash and other viandas are grated together and formed a paste. Chopped parsley, flour and annatto oil are added. This process stops the viandas from turning brown. The dumplings are then formed into balls and deep fried and left to the side. Once sofrito is cooked ox-tail, beer and broth are added to pot. Dumpling are added once meet is tender and cooked for an additional 20 minutes. Asopao is served with a small bowl of hot white rice, bread and pique criollo.
- allrecipes.com Asopao de pollo