Easy Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

 


Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho is a simple but amazingly flavorful Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, some vegetables and herbs steeped in an aromatic broth flavored with roasted spices. Traditionally, this delicious soup has meat or chicken in them, but I have added only vegetables. Serve a large bowl of this aromatic broth over hot and fresh noodles, topped with a myriad of crunchy and fresh toppings for a complete and filling meal!

Pho is pronounced “fuh” like in “funny”. I first tasted this flavorful and light soup at a Vietnamese restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My son used to frequent a small Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids which was run by a simple Vietnamese family.

This was the first time I had tasted Vietnamese food and I loved it! Their exotic cuisine encompasses simple flavors with minimal use of spices, oil and dairy. Their main ingredients are rice noodles, fresh vegetables, seafood, meat, chicken, soy sauce and fresh herbs along with some aromatics like coriander, anise, cinnamon, lemon grass, soy sauce, fish sauce etc.

We had some lovely and divine pho along with fresh and crispy Vietnamese spring rolls, the recipe which I have posted earlier. I had the vegetarian pho which was full of fresh and crunchy vegetables and aromatic and flavorful herbs like coriander leaves(cilantro), chopped green onions, slit green chillis along with some hot red chili sauce on the side; the best part!

The main ingredient in any vegetarian pho is the shiitake mushrooms which impart a nice nutty flavor to the soup along with some basic spices. I have used shiitake mushroom, but if you cannot get it, you can use button mushrooms too. Carrots have been added to give a mild sweetness to the broth.

Normally, fish sauce is used, but I have used soy sauce instead. Aromatics like coriander, anise, cloves and ginger add a lovely aroma to the soup. To give a nice deep flavor and give it a more authentic taste, I have charred the onions and ginger in minimal oil and then have added separately pan-roasted spices to them.

Traditionally, broth is added (vegetarian or beef or chicken). I have added a combination of vegetarian broth and water; you can use just water and still enjoy a flavorful soup.

Once you try this simple and comforting but filling soup along with customizable garnishing or toppings, it will be a frequent dish on your dinner table this winter!

For more similar light and healthy soups you can enjoy this winter, try:

 


Easy Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho
Serves 4
This filling and comforting vegetarian Vietnamese soup is full of flavors from shiitake mushrooms, fresh herbs and aromatic spices; served over rice noodles and topped with some crunchy and fresh toppings, it is a complete meal!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
193 calories
28 g
0 g
8 g
6 g
1 g
729 g
342 g
6 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
729g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 342mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 6g
25%
Sugars 6g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
234%
Vitamin C
189%
Calcium
16%
Iron
22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks, broken up
  2. 1 star anise
  3. 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  4. 4 to 5 cloves
  5. 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  6. 2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  7. 1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
  8. ½ to ¾ cup sliced shitake mushrooms (or button mushrooms)
  9. 2 to 3 green chilies/jalapenos slit (according to your taste)
  10. 8 cups of water (or half vegetable broth and half water)
  11. 2 tsp soy sauce
  12. 1 cup rice noodles (or any other noodles your prefer)
  13. 2 tbsp oil
  14. Salt to taste
For garnishing or topping
  1. Mung bean sprouts
  2. Few baby spinach leaves
  3. Chopped green onions or scallions
  4. Chopped coriander leaves
  5. Lemon or lime wedges
  6. Hot chili sauce (Sriracha or any chili garlic sauce)
  7. Chopped jalapenos
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, dry roast coriander seeds, cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks on medium heat until lightly toasted; do not char or burn.
  2. In another large deep pot, heat 2 to 3 tbsp of oil and once hot, stir in chopped onions and ginger. Char on medium high heat until lightly browned. Add the toasted spices, carrots and fry again for a few seconds.
  3. Stir in sliced shitake mushrooms and sauté for a few seconds on high.
  4. Add water (or a mix of broth and water) and bring to a boil. Add soy sauce, green chilies, salt to taste, mix and simmer covered for about 30 minutes for all the flavors to blend.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare all the toppings or garnishes, along with cooking the noodles according to package directions. Keep aside.
  6. After 30 minutes, strain the whole mixture using a strainer or colander and keep the broth hot and ready. Taste and add salt if needed. I have added the carrots back into the strained broth for texture and extra fiber!
  7. Divide the broth into large soup bowls, add toppings of your choice; noodles, spinach, green onions, cilantro, sprouts etc. and serve with a spoon and chopsticks! A squeeze of lime or lemon juice and heavenly vegetarian pho from the land of Vietnam is ready to be enjoyed in your own home!
  8. If needed, you can stir in chili sauce according to your taste for extra heat and spice; just a little in each bowl! This is totally optional.
Notes
  1. Other additional toppings are tofu or paneer (Indian cottage cheese), sprigs of fresh mint, etc.
  2. Store extra broth in the refrigerator and enjoy fresh soup with toppings anytime.
beta
calories
193
fat
8g
protein
6g
carbs
28g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho:

  • In a large saucepan, dry roast coriander seeds, cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks on medium heat until lightly toasted; do not char or burn.

  • In another large deep pot, heat 2 to 3 tbsp of oil and once hot, stir in chopped onions and ginger. Char on medium high heat until lightly browned.

  • Add the toasted spices, carrots and fry again for a few seconds.

  • Stir in sliced shiitake mushrooms and saute for a few seconds on high.

  • Add water (or a mix of broth and water) and bring to a boil. Add soy sauce, green chilies, salt to taste, mix and simmer covered for about 30 minutes for all the flavors to blend.

  • Meanwhile, prepare all the toppings or garnishes, along with cooking the noodles according to package directions. Keep aside.
  • After 30 minutes, strain the whole mixture using a strainer or colander and keep the broth hot and ready. Taste and add salt if needed. I have added the carrots back into the strained broth for texture and extra fiber!

  • Divide the broth into large soup bowls, add toppings of your choice; noodles, spinach, green onions, cilantro, sprouts etc. and serve with a spoon and chopsticks! A squeeze of lime or lemon juice and heavenly vegetarian pho from the land of Vietnam is ready to be enjoyed in your own home!

  • If needed, you can stir in chili sauce according to your taste for extra heat and spice; just a little in each bowl! This is totally optional.
  • Enjoy!!

I am sharing this post with Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme this time is Winter Soups!!! Other amazing, soothing and comforting winter soups shared by my friends that you can enjoy this winter or any time are : Chicken Chilli Bean SoupThree-Ingredient Tomato Soup, Raw Papaya Clear Soup, Cauliflower Soup, Coriander Lemon Soup Etc.

Join the party at : #RecipeoftheWeek  | 

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