ANY HOT steamy soup is a bowl of comfort food that warms the tummy and comforts the heart, especially during this gloomy wet season. One of the best soups that I highly recommend is the famous Vietnamese Pho. This glorious soup of Vietnam is loaded with delightful herbs. It is not just a great treat for the stomach. It opens the nasal passage to clear the sinuses and lubricates the inner system. You can’t help but notice the parade of spices that pampers and amuses your muzzle from the divine thrilling aromas it emits. And a champion method to detoxify the lungs and the bronchial system naturally.
No wonder our elders used to prepare concoction of soups throwing in pieces of tree barks, roots, stems, leaves in the blend when one is sick of cold, flu, fever, cough, infection or showing symptoms. Unfortunately, the present generation is used to being bombarded with synthetic medicines as a fast relief. Ending up with a weaker immune system, for the inborn immunity warriors were not put to exercise.
It is not yet too late. From this day on, let us try to be more mindful in our choices of foods or of anything we put in our mouth. Today, I want you to focus on the glorious soup recipe that I prepared for you and give you the pleasure of hotness, even just for a short while.
Vietnamese Pho (Vegetarian) Recipe. Serves 4. Broth ingredients: 4 cups good quality low sodium vegetable broth; 4 cups water; 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms; 3 large shallots, thinly sliced; 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced; 1″ piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced into 1/8″ pieces; 6 tbsp. light soy sauce; 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar; 3 star anise; 3 cinnamon sticks.
Broth preparation: Place the first 12 ingredients in a large soup pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce temperature and simmer mostly covered for 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh colander to get all the bits out. Return the broth to the pot and bring back to temp over medium heat.
Garnishing ingredients: 1 handful Thai basil stems & leaves; 1 handful cilantro stems & leaves; 1 8 ounce package dried rice noodles; 2 cups shredded cabbage; 2 cups fresh mung bean sprouts; 1/2 cup fresh chopped green onion leeks; 1/2 cup roughly chopped or torn Thai basil; 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro; 2 red chilies (thinly sliced); 1 lime, cut into wedges, four slices.
To assemble the soup: Cook the rice noodles according to the package instruction– in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse with cool water quickly to stop the cooking. Drain the water thoroughly. Afterwards, evenly distribute the noodles into four parts, put the cabbage and the beansprouts on top. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles.
For a finishing touch of prettiness, sprinkle generous amount of basil leaves, coriander, onion leeks, red chilies and Shiracha (hot sauce) – if you are a chilly vampire like some of my friends.
Serve immediately, with a slice of fresh lemon on the side. This super meal is packed with vitamin A, B6, C, K, E, Calcium, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc. Enjoy!