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Chicken and Vermicelli Soup with Egg and Lemon Recipe

Makes: Serves 6

This is a Turkish version of everyone’s favorite chicken noodle soup, but instead of being a clear broth, the soup is rich and creamy. The “body” is created by using grated onion; the soup is then finished with an egg and lemon mixture, which thickens it further, makes it velvety-smooth and adds a vibrant lemon flavor.

It’s essential to use a really good homemade chicken stock for this soup (alternatively, use your own recipe or a top-quality stock purchased from a deli). With good stock to hand, this soup can be pulled together in a matter of minutes. (Please don’t be tempted to use stock cubes, though!)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 1 long green chile, seeded and finely shredded
  • 2 ounces vermicelli noodles
  • 3 1/3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, skin removed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. To make the soup, place the onion in a sieve. Press lightly with the back of a spoon and leave to drain for 5 minutes or so, discarding the juice.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in large, heavy-based saucepan, then sauté the onion over a low heat for 3 minutes. Add the chile and sauté for another minute. Roughly break up the vermicelli noodles and add them to the pan with the chicken stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Cut the chicken breast into 1/4-inch dice and add to the pan, stirring gently over a very low heat for a minute.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Ladle a spoonful of the hot soup into the egg mixture and whisk gently. Pour this back into the barely simmering soup, whisking continuously. Cook at a bare simmer, whisking gently, until the soup starts to thicken. Be sure not to let the soup boil or the mixture will curdle.
  4. When the soup has thickened, add the paprika and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley, then ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve with hot buttered toast.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.
Greg and Lucy Malouf, Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey, Chronicle Books (2007)