Pho is one of my favorite soups, I am always on the quest for the perfect bowl of pho, wherever we go. With it’s rich broth and fresh garnishes it is both warming yet refreshing. Alas…once becoming vegetarian, it was off the list. A few years ago it was rare to find a vegetarian version at Vietnamese restaurants but it’s becoming more common. Even thought they offer it, it’s nothing compared to the spicy rich flavor of it’s meaty counterpart. Generally it’s just some vegetable broth with tofu and basic veggies, a lazy attempt to pacify us vegetarians. Hence the challenge to perfect our own pho broth minus the meat became clear. Here it is, so warm with it’s rich spices and topped with fresh basil and lime, ooohhh so good!
1 large onion, 3/4 chopped for the broth and 1/4 large slices for the soup
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp whole coriander
5 whole cloves
Dash of cinnamon
2” piece of ginger root, large chunks
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl olive oil
3c. Vegetable broth
1 carrot, cut in large chunks
1 package tofu
1 package Rice noodles, either thin or fettuccini style
3 sprigs fresh Basil
1 Jalapeño, fresh and sliced
Sriracha chili sauce
1 Lime, sliced in wedges
3 scallions chopped
Sauté the 3/4 chopped onion and garlic cloves until brown, this gives the broth a rich brown color and flavor. Add coriander, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger root sauté for about a minute to bring out the flavor in the spices. Add the vegetable broth, water, and soy sauce, simmer covered for 20 min. Strain the broth, add carrots, tofu, and remaining 1/4 of onion to the strained broth and simmer for 5 min. You can add other fresh veggies such as snow peas and mushrooms if you like.
Meanwhile prepare noodles per package instructions.
Place cooked noodles in a bowl, ladle over with the broth, veggies, and tofu. Top with scallion, jalapeño, a wedge of lime, and a sprig of basil. Add sriracha and hoisin to taste.
Abby Lutz & Shane Walsh
Switching gears from the fast-paced hullabaloo to the bucolic countryside, comes our new foodie team, Abby Lutz & Shane Walsh. A clothing designer and photographer respectively, this couple traded in their edgy Brooklyn address for a bit of paradise on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. With a slower paced life now (though they still both work and turn out insanely gifted work), Abby and Shane have found themselves lingering in the garden and creating in the kitchen. The result? Mouth-watering, inventive concoctions crafted from the very food they grow. Whatever is ready to be picked is what goes on the plate… the very reason why they are The Accidental Gourmands.