1/2 cup cilantro leaves with stems, loosely packed
1/4 cup water
1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
One 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (or other milder chile powder)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 Thai chile, roughly chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
One 14 ounce can light coconut milk
One 14 1/2 ounce can chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken (preferably dark meat)
3-4 ounces thin dried Chinese egg noodles (or in a pinch, sub angel hair pasta)
Fresh cilantro, Thai basil, thinly sliced shallot, sliced thai chile, chile oil, and lime wedges for serving
In a food processor, combine the cilantro, water, shallot, garlic, ginger, chile powder, cumin, turmeric, and Thai chile (if using). Process until a paste is formed.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice, fish sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the chicken and dried noodles, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are cooked.
Divide soup between three to four bowls and top with fresh cilantro, Thai basil, sliced shallot, sliced chiles, a drizzle of chile oil, and a lime wedge. Serve immediately.