Outside of Vietnam, Seattle is one of the best places to find authentic pho noodle soup. In fact, the world’s largest bowl of pho can be found in the city’s International District! Dating back to the early 1900’s, pho is traditionally made with beef broth and rice noodles, and filled with a combination of vegetables, tofu, meat and garnishes. This savory veggie pho broth is filled with aromatic spices, and can be frozen to use as soup stock for any number of vegetarian recipes.
Recipe: Simple Vegetarian Pho Broth
Source: Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times Cooking
Modifications, Testing and Recommendations: This pho broth is one of my favorites. The vegetables require a lot of prep time to peel and cut, but it doesn’t need to be exact because they will just be discarded after cooking all the flavor out. The broth takes several hours to simmer, so I made it the night before and kept it covered in the fridge.
If you omit the optional Vietnamese fish sauce, this broth is entirely vegan. It’s easy to build your pho flavors and customize it for your dietary preferences. To make my pho, I simmered thin slices of mushrooms and carrots in the broth until soft, then added rice noodles and tofu cubes toasted in sesame oil, and served it with a plate of garnishes: diced green chili peppers, chopped scallions, Thai basil and lime wedges. I recommend topping the soup with hoisin sauce and sriracha or spicy chili oil.