This is a Williams Sonoma recipe, modified slightly. It is really good. It's versatile too. To make a vegetable noodle soup, substitute mushrooms for the chicken and vegetable broth or mushroom broth for the chicken broth. To make beef noodle soup, substitute sliced beef sirloin for the chicken and beef broth for the chicken broth. This simple soup is fast and easy to make and it's a nice change from regular chicken soup.
6 oz. rice vermicelli
6 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp. minced ginger or 2 tbsp. ginger juice
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tsp. sugar
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
4 small scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
chili-garlic sauce or 1 seeded, thinly sliced jalapeno to serve, if desired
Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven over low heat, cook the onion in 1 tbsp. canola oil until beginning to soften. Add the chicken broth, ginger and five-spice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
While the broth is simmering, combine the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. After the broth has simmered for 10 minutes, add the sauce and the chicken. Bring back to a simmer, then add the rice vermicelli*. Simmer about 10 seconds, then turn off the heat. Add the scallions and cilantro and stir.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with chili-garlic sauce or sliced jalapeno as desired.