Garlic Fideo Soup

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes

Browned noodles are a real treat; one classic example is Garlicky Vermicelli or Fideo, the paellalike dish where broken strands of thin noodles are panfried before liquid and the other ingredients are added. Here I turn the same fideo noodles (you can use any ultra-thin pasta, like capellini) into a robust soup, based on the simple garlic-and-bread concoction eaten throughout Spain.

1 pound fideo, capellini, or other very thin pasta

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small head garlic, cloves peeled and minced (about 1/4 cup)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika (preferably pimentГіn)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or epazote leaves, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

61/2 cups vegetable stock or water

1/2 cup Fresh Bread Crumbs

01 Put the noodles in a sturdy bag and whack them with a rolling pin or the back of a knife, breaking them into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

02 Put the olive oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and beginning to color, 5 to 8 minutes.

03 Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the noodles, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they darken, a minute or two. They will probably not cook perfectly evenly—some will become darker than others—but try to avoid letting more than a few pieces blacken.

04 Add the paprika and the 1/4 cup of herbs and stir for a minute to coat the noodles. Add the stock, being careful to loosen any noodles and garlic that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning,, and serve, garnished with a sprinkle of the remaining herbs and the bread crumbs.