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Thai inspired chicken noodle soup

I forget about this recipe and when I get bored of cold chicken, chicken with white sauce, or endless versions of vegetable soup made of homemade chicken stock, it suddenly comes back to me.  I tend to add the merest sniff of chilli in the main soup, then put dried chilli flakes or more slices of fresh chilli on the table so the adults and the brave hearted can please themselves.  
  • remnants of one roast chicken
  • couple of stalks celery
  • half onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 square cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 stalk fresh or dried lemongrass 
  • small piece of green and/ or red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  •  couple of slices dried galangal
  • 3-4 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • juice half a lime
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • selection of chopped seasonal vegetables (e.g. red/orange pepper; brocolli; mushrooms; greens; brassica leaves)
  • half pint coconut milk
  • noodles - as much as needed
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  1. First of all pick off any left over chicken flesh and set aside.
  2. Place the chicken carcass in a large pan, cover with water and add celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring to boil then simmer, covered, for at least an hour, checking that it is not losing too much liquid.
  3. When the stock is made, strain, keeping back the carcass and remove any last remnants of meat.
  4. Place 1 pint chicken stock in a large pan and bring back to the boil.  If the stock is very rich, you may want to dilute it will some water.  As it comes up to boiling point, add the ginger, lemongrass, chilli, galangal, lime leaves, tamarind paste, lime juice and sugar and stir well.  Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped seasonal vegetables.
  6. Remove the lemongrass. Add the chicken flesh, raise the temperature if necessary and make sure it is heated through properly.  Add as much of the coconut milk as necessary to taste and then the noodles. Cook until the noodles are done but not mushy.
  7. Adjust lime, sugar, tamarind and chilli to taste.   
  8. Serve with large helpings of coriander leaves, and extra chilli if desired.