Chicken and vermicelli soup with egg and lemon

Chicken and vermicelli soup with egg and lemon

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

This is a Turkish version of everyone’s favourite 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 liaison, which thickens it further, makes it velvety-smooth and adds a vibrant lemon flavour.

It’s essential to use a really good homemade chicken stock for this soup, such as the one (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!)


Quantity Ingredient
1 small purple onion, peeled and coarsely grated
60ml olive oil
20g unsalted butter
1 long green chilli, seeded and finely shredded
50g vermicelli noodles
800ml Chicken stock
250g chicken breast, skin removed
3 egg yolks
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, shredded


  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 a large, heavy-based saucepan, then sauté the onion over a low heat for 3 minutes. Add the chilli 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 5 mm 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 liaison 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.
Middle Eastern
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