My wife has had a killer cold for the last several days, and spent the day home in bed.  I thought I would make her something warm and hearty – and of course chicken noodle soup came to mind.  Felt like adding a bit of a twist though, and we are both Thai fans – so went with a clear Thai chicken noodle soup – lime based, with just a hint of curry and ginger in it.

This soup is about as easy as it gets – I had most of the ingredients at home, but bought a .50 cent piece of ginger, .21 cents worth of peppers, a $6 box of rice noodles, a $3 bunch of cilantro, and I was good to go.  Total cost was probably about $15 – $20 if you bought everything from scratch, and it makes a healthy 4 serving batch – with plenty of left over produce for another dish.  Throw everything in the pot, simmer it and BAM, you are done in about 1/2 hour.  I served it with a fresh spinach salad…..and best of all, this is a healthy meal to boot!

Thai Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 sm pkg Shitaki mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 tsp fresh ground ginger root ( to taste – a little goes a long way)
3 tbs fish sauce ( to taste – again, a little goes a long way)
1/4 tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp Thai seasoning (totally optional – I keep this around normally)
zest and juice from 2 limes
2 tbs fresh rough chopped cilantro
3 tbs fresh rough chopped basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 seeded, sliced Thai chili pepper ( or small Jalapeno)
1 leek, dark green part removed, sliced into thin rings, rinsed well and separated
1 9 oz pkg Perdue Short Cuts pre cooked chicken breast
1/4 pkg ( about 4 oz ) Thai rice noodles
1 cup rough chopped spinach, raw

Instructions:

Soak rice noodles in HOT water, according to instructions for about 15 minutes, or until soft.  Drain, put to side.  In med – large sauce pan ( at least 4qts) add everything but the noodles and the spinach.  Bring to a boil over med high heat, then lower to med low, and simmer for about 20 minutes or so.  Add noodles, and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add spinach, and simmer till wilted – about 5 minutes more.

Using tongs, pile a portion of noodles into a soup bowl, then ladle liquid/chicken etc over the top.  Garnish with a few fresh copped cilantro leaves, and if you want to spice it up a bit, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and enjoy!  This soup is as good as any I have had in a restaurant!

One note – please taste as you go – basil, cilantro and ginger are VERY strong ingredients – you may want to alter the quantities up or down to your taste as you go!