A simple pasta soup made with thin noodles and flavoured with a touch of olive oil
Growing up Greek, our chicken noodle soup was called fide. To be honest, it was a little different than your traditional chicken noodle soup; for one thing, it had no chicken. It also had no chicken broth, no vegetables and no herbs. In fact, fide (also spelled fithe) is nothing more than a noodle soup, cooked in water, flavoured with olive oil, sometimes sprinkled with a bit of mizithra, and ready to comfort every bit of your soul.
Our kitchen growing up always had a bag of these thin, dry noodles in the pantry. As slim as angel hair pasta (actually, maybe even thinner), fide was always at the ready to soothe a sore belly or aching throat, to comfort a hurt heart, or to quickly satisfy the need for something warm and simple. The sound of our mother breaking the thin bundle of uncooked fide noodles apart in her hand still makes us feel cared for, and loved. Even today, if we are speaking to our mom on the phone and mention that someone in the house may be coming down with a cold, her first question is, “Ehete fide?” (“Do you have fide?”). Before we can answer that yes, she has taught us well, we can hear her rummaging in her own kitchen, knowing that if we had run out of this magic noodle our dad would be sent over to make a special delivery.
Fide noodles can be found in any Greek or Mediterranean market, as well as online. If you can’t find fide you can make a version of this soup using angel hair pasta; just be sure to break the noodles apart so that they are each about 1 inch long.
Often, we will enjoy fide soup with a sprinkling of generous mizithra grated on top. Mizithra is a hard Greek cheese made of sheep and / or goat’s milk. It is quite unique in flavour and worth seeking out. If you can’t find mizithra, the next best substitute would be a combination of grated romano and parmesan cheeses.
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Fide soup (Σούπα φιδέ)
- 5 cups water
- 2 balls of fide
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp grated mizithra optional
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot.
- While the water is boiling, break the fide apart in your hands so that it is broken into little pieces. When the water has come to a boil, add the salt and the fide to it. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- Add the olive oil to the pot, stir the fide, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve the fide soup with grated mizithra on the side.