Happy Meatless Monday! Vietnamese Pho Soup may look intimidating (or strange), but it’s so simple. You make a broth, cook the rice noodles and assemble. I originally made this with tofu because 1). I had it on hand; 2). I was pressed for time; 3). it’s easy to use and requires no prep; and 4). why not? But for you carnivores out there, you can easily convert this to a “meat lovers” version by adding chicken, beef, pork or shrimp and then substituting chicken or beef broth for vegetable. This soup is light, refreshing, just ticket on a cold day. The sriracha adds just the right amount of spice, the herbs add a freshness and the spices just the right flavor. It’s also so easy to make it your own!
Ingredients (serves 4).
For the Broth:
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 2 c water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 of an onion, diced
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and shaved
- 2 t minced garlic or 4 cloves of garlic
For the Soup:
- 2 c shredded carrots
- 8 oz. of thin rice noodles
- 1 package light tofu, cubed
- 2 scallions, thinly chopped
- 1/2 c loosely packed cilantro, washed and stems removed
- 1/2 c loosely packed basil, washed and chopped
- Sriracha to taste
- 4 T reduced sodium soy sauce, divided
- 4 lime wedges
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, bring all ingredients for the broth to a boil. Once boiling, add the carrots and bring the broth to a simmer for about 15 min.
- Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
- In large bowls, evenly divide the rice noodles and cubed tofu. Add 1 ½ c of broth with carrots to each bowl.
- Top with fresh chopped basil, fresh cilantro and chopped scallions or any toppings of choice. Add 1 T of soy sauce to each bowl and salt and pepper to taste.
- Lightly drizzle with sriracha. Squeeze fresh lime juice over each bowl.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
TIP: store the cooked rice noodles in a separate container than the soup/broth. The noodles will absorb all of the liquid otherwise!
- Sliced ginger
- Sliced jalapeño
- Water chestnut
- Bok choy
- Baby corn
- Broccoli or cauliflower
- Bean sprouts
- Whole anise (to the broth if you enjoy that flavor)
- Fish sauce (again to the broth if you like that flavor)