Aromatic Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles

1 tablespoon light oil
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and tough outer layers discarded, remainder halved lengthwise and minced
1 Thai red chili pepper, seeded and minced
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces cooked chicken, shredded (see NOTE)
4 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
5 ounces thick rice noodles, or egg noodles
Soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 medium lemon
Handful cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the lemon grass, chili and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken and the broth, and cook for 5 minutes to let the flavors develop. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. (It should take no more than a few minutes.)

Season to taste with soy sauce and pepper. Squeeze a little lemon juice into each serving and sprinkle with the cilantro.

NOTE: To make this with raw chicken, cut the chicken into thin slices and add it to the saucepan 30 seconds after adding the garlic, stir-frying it until the exterior looks cooked. Then add the broth and proceed with the recipe as written.

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