Can anyone take a guess what it looks like outside at this very moment?
I’ll give you a few hints…it’s March, and it’s Rochester.
If you guessed that it’s raining and a film of depression-inducing, foggy gloom has settled itself comfortably over the entire city, then you guessed right!
When it comes to weather, there are no rules here in good old Roch; mother nature seems to take out her frustrations on our city. The winters last forever, the springs last about a week, and the in-betweens are just plain torture.
With all of this gloom and doom, I actually have to work pretty hard to stay positive and keep on truckin’ because no matter what, warmth will arrive and I will forget this terrible winter and gloomy spring transition ever even happened.
One good thing about rainy days and cold weather is that it’s always a perfect occasion to make some soup!
Lately I’ve really been craving take out food. While I keep our fridge pretty well stocked, I’m a busy bee. I wake up at 5, either go to spin class or workout at home, then it’s breakfast and off to work I go! Even though I love cooking, sometimes when I get home all I want is a huge bowl of rice and spicy veggies from my local Thai restaurant. But then I remember how wasteful it would be and I whip up something myself.
Though I had never tried pho before I made it myself, I have been dying to try it, considering Rochester is surprisingly full of restaurants boasting “greatest pho you will ever eat here.” So, I decided to use the soup weather, my stocked fridge, and my pho desire to my advantage and create a bowl of Asian goodness for myself.
Behold, Vegan Pho!
For the Broth
- 12 cups water
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, cut down the middle, skins on
- 1 thumb ginger, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped and crushed
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- 2 tbsp. tamari
For the Soup
- 2 cups broccoli
- 1 package mushrooms, left whole (I used cremini)
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1/2 pack rice noodles, cooked
- Bean sprouts
In a large pot, combine all of the broth ingredients, and bring to a boil. Let broth boil for 5 minutes, then turn heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for at least 45 minutes. Once broth has simmered, taste it and adjust seasonings as you like. Place a fine strainer over a bowl and discard/compost the veggies/broth ingredients so you’re left with a smooth broth. Place broth back in pot, and put over low heat.
Add in whole mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli, and let them simmer for about 15 minutes.
While your veggies simmer, cook rice noodles according to package. Once veggies are softened and blanched to your liking in the broth, place noodles in a bowl, ladle soup over them, and add garnishes.
Now, I know this may not be the most traditional pho, but after doing some research and reading recipe after recipe, this is what I came up with, and it satisfied both my soup and asian cravings perfectly!
Give it a try, even if you live in Mexico where the sun is most likely shining and soup weather doesn’t exist.