Fideo and Chicken Soup with Queso Fresco
Fideos, which means "noodles" in Spanish, are served throughout Spain and Latin American in a variety of ways, often in a tomato-based broth. If you don't have access to authentic fideos, which are often sold coiled into nests that can be served whole or crumbled into smaller pieces (as in this recipe), vermicelli or another pasta of similar size makes a perfect replacement. Serve this soup with grilled corn tortillas cut into triangles for dipping.
- 2 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1/2 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
- 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups (4 oz./125 g) fideos or vermicelli pasta broken into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
- 3 oz. (90 g) queso fresco, crumbled
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
Arrange the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Brush the chicken with 1 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken in the oven until it is cooked through, about 20 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces. Set aside.
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, tomato paste and chipotle and stir well to combine. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the fideos and cook for 8 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Top with the avocado and queso fresco and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011)