It is soup weather. Take one look out the window at the blustery, rainy day, and it tells me that soup MUST be made. And if you live somewhere that stays sunny, balmy, warm, tropical (!?) well, then prepare your guest room- company's coming! (My favorite pastime is dreaming of sunny days)...
Pho is actually a perfect soup for you fortunate warm-winter people too, because it is filling but light. It's really a welcome addition to my soup repertoire, as the most-requested soups so far in our household have been chili and potato.
Pho is satisfying despite being broth-based, because it is packed with flavor, texture, spice, and warmth. The way we do it around here is to make the broth, then pile all of the add-ins onto the cutting board and let everyone make their own- the way they like it. Though not traditional, (which we definitely are not) it might not be unheard of to let the kids add ramen noodles too!
I love letting my son eat ramen, just because he insists on taking off his shirt and wearing swim goggles while he eats (he'd hate to splash broth in his eye or get his shirt dirty)! Cracks me up, but whatever it takes to get them to slurp down this nourishing soup!
If you like your vegetables a little more tender, add them to the broth after it's been strained, and put it back on the stove to simmer a couple minutes.
I guess between my son and his swim goggles, and the flavors like cilantro and lime, our Two Kitchen Pho makes me feel a little like summer has come to my dining room. And that is a very welcome feeling.
Two Kitchen Pho
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 star anise
1 teaspoon whole fennel
1 teaaspoon whole coriander
2 tablespoons yellow miso
3 tablesooms dried wakame seaweed
1 ounce dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Rice noodles, spaghetti squash noodles or ramen (you choose)
Toppings: tofu, cooked meat (thinly sliced chicken, beef, or pork), bean sprouts, carrots, hot peppers, cilantro, basil, mint, mushrooms, lime wedges.
1. Combine broth through mushrooms in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
2. Add soy sauce through brown sugar to broth. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
3. Strain broth, reserving liquid and discarding solids.
4. Roast spaghetti squash (if using) at 350 for 30-40 minutes then remove "noodles" with a fork. If using rice noodles or ramen, add the noodles to the broth and cook according to package directions.
5. Ladle broth and noodles into bowls and add toppings. Enjoy!
*Thank you to Wild Hare Organic Farm for many of the local & seasonal produce we are able to use in our recipes.