Another year passed very quickly and Ramadan is here again. Although I am not particularly the religious type, I can't ignore the presence of the holy month. The culinary tradition of Ramadan is incomparable to any time of the year. The whole month is a celebration of food, drinks and sweets.
Today's dish is chicken vermicelli soup, a firm childhood favourite. Nice and strongly flavoured tangy soup, a perfect start for a Ramadan Iftar evening meal. Outside Ramadan the soup would make an excellent homely starter especially if you have some left over chicken stock and breast meat. Above all, this is the perfect meal if you are not feeling well. If chicken soup is the "Jewish Penicillin" this is definitely its Syrian counterpart.
There are many variations to the recipe. I cook mine with tomato paste and shredded chicken. Some people use meat balls or no meat at all, just nice stock. You can omit the tomato paste if you wish or even fry the vermicelli in a little oil to give them colour and a different flavour before cooking them.
Here is my Vermicelli Soup recipe:
Chicken stock 500mls
Shredded chicken meat, a handful
Vermicelli pasta, a handful
Tomato paste 1tbs
To see the Syrian way of cooking chicken and making a delicious stock check my Chicken Fatteh recipe.
Bring the stock to boil. Dissolve the tomato paste. Add the chicken meat and the vermicelli. Cook for 15 minutes until the pasta is fully cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. The soup will thicken slightly because of the tomato paste but the consistancy should remain fairly runny.