1/2 small squash or pumpkin (about 300g), deseeded and sliced (no need to peel)
2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
6 skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves, crushed, or 1 tbsp garlic purée
thumb-sized piece ginger, crushed or 1 tbsp ginger purée
1 chicken stock cube or 1 tbsp concentrated liquid stock
2 x 400g cans coconut milk
3 bird’s-eye chillies, 2 pierced a few times but left whole, 1 finely sliced to serve (optional)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp peanut butter, smooth or crunchy is fine
2 limes, plus extra wedges to serve
1 tbsp light brown soft sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
400g rice noodles
small bunch spring onions, chopped
small handful coriander leaves
50g salted, roasted peanuts, chopped
chilli oil, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the squash with 1 tbsp oil and some seasoning on a baking tray, arrange in a single layer and roast for 35-40 mins, or until soft and starting to caramelise around the edges. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a deep pan or casserole dish. Season the chicken, then cook until browned all over. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring for a min or 2, then add the stock, coconut milk, whole chillies, soy and 250ml water. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and poach the chicken for 20 mins.
Remove the chicken, shred the meat with forks and return to the soup, discarding the bones. Spoon 2-3 tbsp of the soup into a bowl with the peanut butter and mix until smooth. Add to the soup with the juice of 1 lime, the sugar and the fish sauce. Check the seasoning, adding more lime, sugar, soy or fish sauce if you want to. Keep the soup warm while you cook the noodles following pack instructions.
Drain the noodles and add a handful to each bowl. Pour over the soup and top with the squash, spring onions, coriander, beansprouts, peanuts, chilli oil and sliced chilli (if using). Serve with extra lime wedges.