If you were wondering why I haven’t posted a new recipe in a few weeks, I have a perfectly good explanation. Yes, school was one of the major reasons. That obviously takes time away from what I could otherwise use as my filming time. Another issue was I was going through it these last couple of weeks. What I thought was just a cold, turned into self-diagnosed full-on bronchitis. It was horrible. Lost my voice, constantly coughing, headaches and so on. I can’t emphasize how terrible those two weeks were. On top of being sick, finals were approaching. It was just a huge mess. One day as I was coughing my lungs out, I walked up to my mom with my mouth curled into a pout and the best puppy dog eyes I could give. I asked her, “mama, could you please make chicken soup?” She quickly obliged. Nothing cures me as quickly as my mom’s chicken noodle soup. Why? It’s out of this world good. I’m not exaggerating. When you take your first bite of that steaming hot soup, you’ll think you died and went to flavor town. My mom makes her soup the Lebanese way. It involves vermicelli noodles, a very flavorful stock seasoned with our secret weapon and garnished with Italian flat-leaf parsley. This soup is so flavorful, ridiculously easy to make and will cure you of any ills you may be experiencing.
Before getting started, place the chicken (you can use a large whole chicken or legs w/thighs attached) in a large bowl with cold water to cover and pour in a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar and a couple of tablespoons lemon juice. Let the chicken sit for an hour in this solution. Pour the water out and clean/rinse the chicken really well.
Place the chicken in a large pot. Pour in cold water to fill the pot 3/4 of the way full. Add in the dried bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, cardamom pods, and sliced onion. Red onion is ideal, but if all you have is white onion, you can use that instead. Leave on high heat and cook for about an hour. Halfway through, skim the scum foam from the top.
After an hour, turn off the heat and begin cooking the vermicelli noodles. In a large pot, begin to melt Crisco or pour in canola oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Pour in the entire bag of vermicelli noodles and begin to cook over medium to medium-high heat. Begin stirring frequently gently, without breaking the noodles or overmixing. Stir occasionally and cook until the noodles are golden brown. Do not leave the pot at any point, because these noodles cook quickly.
Once the golden brown color is achieved, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and begin to pour the stock into the pot with the noodles through a sieve. Make sure to get all the stock liquid in there.
Turn the heat on the soup to a medium to medium-high heat. Add in three heaping tablespoons of Vegeta all-purpose seasoning mix into the soup and stir to combine. Leave the soup to simmer over medium heat for another 20-30 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Cut one bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley and sprinkle the parsley into the soup.
Take the chicken from the pot you cooked the stock in and move it to a separate bowl. Shred the chicken into large chunks. Pour the chicken chunks into the soup and stir gently, again making sure the soup is off the heat.
See how I do it: