Vegetable pho makes a wonderful way to warm up this winter. And so flavorful too!
I have no less than four quarts of homemade stock in my freezer at any given time. I love making it — it’s a great excuse to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon at home — but it also makes weeknight meals super easy. Just throw some frozen stock into a pot, heat it up, and add whatever odds and ends you happen to have in the fridge. In about 20 minutes, you’ll have a pot of delicious homemade soup.
Instead of sticking with classic stocks like chicken and beef, I’ve been mixing things up lately. One of my favorites has been vegetable pho stock. It takes a while to make, but it’s so full of flavor that you really don’t need to add much to it in order to have a delicious dinner.
To make the vegetable pho stock, start by charring an onion and some fresh ginger under the broiler. While those are broiling, you’ll also want to toast your spices. I’ve tried a few recipes that skip these steps, and have found that it’s well worth the extra effort — toasting gives the aromatics a rich, smoky flavor and add a ton of depth and complexity to the stock.
I finish my stock with fish sauce because it contributes to the classic pho flavor, but if you’d like a vegetarian or vegan version of this soup you can substitute soy sauce or tamari.
When you’re ready to use your vegetable pho stock, soften some rice noodles in warm water and prepare your vegetables. I like to blanch snow peas, bok choy, and mushrooms – it’s a nice combination of fresh, bright flavor and rich umami flavor.
Then comes the best part: toppings! Let everyone top their pho how they’d like, with a combination of basil, jalapeno slices, sriracha sauce, and hoisin sauce.
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