We have been having an extremely mild winter here in BC. The days have been warm and sunny, and we have had less rain than usual. It almost feels like we skipped our winter and went right to spring! It’s hard to believe Adam and I were building Frank the giant snowman with the kids this time last year.
Because the winter weather has been so mild we haven’t been eating as many soups as we normally would. It really is a shame because soup is one of the best parts of winter weather, soul and body warming comfort food. So for my family, any signs of cooler weather means soup is on.
Jennifer and I often conduct our Two Kitchens meetings at a lovely, local, Vietnamese restaurant. The last time we went it was cold and rainy. Jennifer ordered the pho and from then on I was craving it; warm aromatic broth, tender but crunchy vegetables, and lots of chewy rice noodles.
Pho broth is complex and usually meat based. Because I wanted a simple quick pho I took some shortcuts (hence the name Weekday Pho). This vegan pho is definitely not a traditional pho but it has the same delicious components and takes a fraction of the time to create.
Whether you are in the midst of soup season, or enjoying an early spring, this quick and easy pho is the perfect comfort food. Enjoy!
- 6-8 cups clear vegetable broth
- 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 cups green cabbage, sliced
- 1 medium broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
- 3 green onions
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 2 inches shredded ginger
- ½ -3/4 package or ½ -3/4 lb. of rice noodles (I prefer Y&Y brand, medium or 5mm size)
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- green onions, sliced
- cilantro leaves
- crispy tofu
- lime wedges
- Sriracha sauce
- In a saucepan add broth and shredded ginger. Crush green onion with flat side of knife and add to broth. Crush garlic with flat side of knife and add to the broth. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to an hour.
- In another saucepan cook rice noodles as instructed on the package. Be careful not to overcook the noodles. They should be soft but still chewy, al dente. For Y&Y brand noodles this is about 8 minutes.
- As soon as the noodles are cooked drain and rinse with cold water until you can feel all the excess starch has been removed. Toss with a small amount of sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
- As soon as the broth is fragrant with the aromatics added earlier, remove the crushed green onion and discard. Remove the garlic if you don’t care for large garlic pieces in your soup.
- Bring broth back up to medium heat. Add carrots and cabbage.
- As soon as carrots are cooked and cabbage is tender, add broccoli and mushrooms. Cover with a lid and remove from heat. Set aside for a few minutes, as the residual heat will cook the broccoli.
- In large bowls, add rice noodles. Top with broth and vegetables.
- Serve garnishes on the side so each bowl can be customized according to each person’s preference.
-For leftovers store the broth and the noodles separately and combine when ready to eat. This prevents the noodles from soaking up too much broth and getting mushy.