Vietnamese Pho Soup (serves 4-6)

Vietnamese Pho Soup by The Fat Foodie

Vietnamese Pho Soup by The Fat Foodie

Sometimes if I’m having a day off I don’t mind investing quite a bit of time in preparing a dish because it feels like a mindful and relaxing task, rather than one filled with tedium, so when I saw this Vietnamese pho soup in the new Happy Pear cookbook I knew it’d feature in my kitchen as a lunch one day this week. Yesterday was that day.

My stepson and in-laws came to visit as I was finishing making this soup and, after they all had a bowl, each one of them said they had really enjoyed it. It’s packed full of flavour, to the extent that if you try to use less stock it’ll be too strong, but if you make it as directed you can’t go wrong. And, as an added bonus, it’s also got a generous serving of vegetables in it so it’s really healthy. I added dried seaweed into my soup pot too, which is a superfood because it contains a great many minerals and trace elements, such as iron, calcium, magnesium and folate, along with B vitamins.

One question I get asked all the time is what low FODMAP stock I use because a lot of the stock cubes which are on the supermarket shelves contain onion and/or garlic. Some people who eat a low FODMAP diet can find that their systems are okay with a small amount of onion and garlic, such as the quantity found in stock cubes. However, others cannot tolerate it in their diets at all. There are a couple of options if you’re very sensitive to onion or garlic though.

The first is Massel ‘s Vegetable Stock Cubes which are completely free of onion or garlic. I’ve tried this stock and it’s quite nice and it certainly does the job well. The second option is Casa de Sante’s low FODMAP Vegetable Stock Powder which is my preferred choice because I like the background herbiness it brings to meals. It’s also officially certified by FODMAP Friendly. If you’d like, you can buy either of these options online by clicking on the names of the products.

Although it does take some time to prepare the ingredients at the start, once they’re done it’s just a case of throwing everything into the soup pot bit by bit. You can then enjoy a fantastic Vietnamese pho soup bite by bite.

Ingredients:

1 tsp asafoetida powder

A thumb-size piece of fresh ginger (chopped finely)

1 tbsp. of dried seaweed (re-hydrated in some cold water)

250g oyster mushrooms (finely sliced)

4 carrots (diced)

120g bok choi (finely sliced) – known as pak choi in the UK

2 tbsps. of vegetable/sunflower oil

5 tbsps. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

2 tbsps. sesame oil

The juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp. of golden syrup

2.5 litres of vegetable stock (I use Casa de Sante’s low FODMAP Vegetable Stock Powder)

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

3 cloves

200g rice noodles

For the optional garnish:

100g beansprouts

1 tbsp chopped chives

Pickled ginger

Sliced fresh chilli

1 lime (cut into quarters)

Method:

Prepare your ingredients as directed in the ingredients list.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large soup pot and put on a high heat.

Once the oil’s hot add the ginger and mushrooms and fry for 5 mins, stirring regularly.

In a cup, mix together the tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and golden syrup. Add to the soup pot and cook for 3 mins.

Add the vegetable stock, carrots, asafoetida powder, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves to the pot.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally.

Five minutes before you’re ready to eat the soup, add your ramen noodles and pak choi into the pot and stir occasionally.

Once your noodles are cooked, divide the noodles and soup between your serving bowls and garnish with whatever you fancy. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

Vietnamese Pho Soup by The Fat Foodie

Vietnamese Pho Soup by The Fat Foodie

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