I'm back! I was away on vacation last week and did absolutely no cooking whatsoever. :) This meal is from right before I left for my trip. After a week in St. Barth, my cooking focus will shift to healthy meals for a few days since I need to make up for all of my gluttony.
This is a Turkish chicken, vermicelli, and lemon soup. It reminds me a little bit of avgolemono since it has a similar egg and lemon flavor. So many of my soup recipes admonish me to make my own stock, but I don't have time. I use Kitchen Basics low sodium chicken stock and it works fine to make this quick dish. This soup is very hearty because of the egg and noodles, and I sometimes prefer the vermicelli to the rice in avgolemono. Another thing that makes this soup interesting is that it uses grated red onion as part of the base, which I think gives it a complexity that avgolemono doesn't have.
Just a quick note: I found that I needed to add a little extra chicken stock. The recipe calls for 1 and 3/4 cup but when I looked in the pot, I didn't think it was enough.
Chicken, Vermicelli, and Lemon Soup
1/2 red onion, grated
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 oz unsalted butter
1 long green chile, seeded and finely shredded
1 oz vermicelli noodles
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
1 chicken breast
1 large egg yolk (technically, a half recipe is 1.5 egg yolks. I use one if it's big and two otherwise)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp hot paprika (or to taste)
white ground pepper (the white pepper is only cosmetic, it tastes the same as regular ground black pepper)
a handful or so of chopped flat leaf parsley
1) Place the grated red onion in a mesh strainer and press out as much of the juice as you can. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
2) Heat the olive oil in a pot and saute the onion over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the chile and saute for one more minute. Add the chicken stock. Roughly break up the vermicelli and add to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3) While the soup is simmering, cut the chicken breast into a 1/4 inch dice. Then, whisk the lemon juice and egg yolk(s) together in a small bowl.
4) After the soup is done simmering for 10 minutes, add the chicken and simmer for another 2 minutes. This should cook the chicken through if you diced it small enough. If it doesn't seem cooked, let it simmer for another minute or so.
5) Spoon some of the stock mixture into the bowl with the lemon and egg mixture. Whisk the mixture and then pour it back into the pot. Cook it at a very slight simmer, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens. For me, this does not take long. Maybe a minute, max two minutes.
** Do not let the soup boil! This will curdle the egg.
6) When soup has thickened, stir in paprika, salt, pepper, and parsley. Serve.