Lime in the Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

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This is a quick and flavorful soup. It has the flavors of Southeast Asia, but all of the ingredients can be found in the ethnic foods aisle at the local grocery store. You do not have to be super particular about the rice noodles you use in this soup. There is a dizzying array of variety when it comes to Asian rice noodles. I love the thinner rice vermicelli. Rice noodles do not contain gluten, so they are perfect for those on gluten-free diets. I think sliced white button mushrooms (thrown in the same time as the chicken) would be a nice addition to this soup.

Lime in the Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

6 ounces dried thin rice noodles (vermicelli or rice sticks)
4 cups chicken broth
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 can (approximately 13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 pound, boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
3 limes
3 tablespoons fish sauce (I recommend Three Crabs brand fish sauce, found at Asian markets)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 jalapeno, stem end removed and thinly sliced
1//2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Soak the rice noodles in very hot water until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.

In a soup pot, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the ginger. Reduce the heat to medium and add the coconut milk. Return to a simmer and then add the chicken. Simmer until the chicken is cooked thorugh, about 3 minutes. Stir in the juice of the 3 limes, the fish sauce, the brown sugar, and the cilantro. Add the drained noodles to the soup and cook one more minute. Stir in the sliced jalapeno and serve. You can garnish the soup with additional fresh cilantro.

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