Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vietnamese Chicken Pho Noodle Soup

Good morning! Are you sick of the cold and snow yet? It goes without saying that although I love snow this bitter cold is getting to me. Sadly the endless winter will continue this week. 

I mentioned last week that here in the South we do not have the infrastructure to handle this weather; the kids have been off school a week, we did not receive mail or any UPS, Fed-ex or anything else for that matter. I felt as if I was on a deserted island. 

Thankfully I was snuggly warm at home working and making lots of soup. This Vietnamese Chicken Pho Noodle Soup is one of my new favorites, in addition to chili, Tuscan bean and several others. Do you have a favorite soup or soups that you make to warm your body and nourish the soul? I am always interested in learning new recipes so please do share one if you have it!

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Pho Soup


2 onions, halved
3 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
4 cloves
6 cardoon pods, crushed
2 star anise
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
One 2-3 pound chicken, skinned, and quartered
3 quarts water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

6 ounces rice noodles
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 Serrano chili peppers
4 lime wedges

Preheat the broiler. Place onion halves  and the ginger on a small baking sheet. Broil until nicely charred, five to seven minutes, turning once half way through the cooking process.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the cloves, star anise, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and black peppercorns until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the toasted spices to the stock pot along with the chicken, water, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, skimming the foam from the surface frequently. Cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot, leave the broth the simmer.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle pull the meat from the breasts and legs, transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Return the bones to the pot.

Continue to simmer the broth gently for 1 hour 30 minutes until broth is reduced  and flavorful.

Strain the stock in a fine  mesh sieve into a large bowl, discard the solids.

In the meantime, cook noodles according to package instructions, set aside. Divide the noodles among the bowls, add chicken, and bean sprouts. The add the hot broth, serve with herbs, chili and a squeeze of lime.

I hope that you stay warm,  stay safe and have a fabulous week.


  1. My favorite Elizabeth! I brought back to the USA from Vietnam, seeds for Vietnamese mint and basil. Makes all the difference to the soup and other VN food. . If you would like seeds, let me know. xx

  2. Sounds nourishing for a cold day. Here in my part of Canada we're used to hard winters. This one's been an interesting one, to say the least, and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

  3. This is my favorite time of year for soups. The Chicken Noodle Pho sounds perfect for a cold snowy day like we are having today. I love winter, but our winters are not usually as hard as so many. Stay warm and enjoy the week. Hugs!

  4. I love Pho! I have never tried to make it, but I do make chicken soup once a week, so maybe I should change things up and try this! Have a wonderful week, Elizabeth! xoxo

  5. Yum! Pho is one of my favorites!! We always make it with beef, so I'll have to try your chicken version - looks so good. Did you know my family moved from China to Vietnam and I was born there? Happy Chinese / Vietnamese New Year.

  6. Ahhhh, I wish I could get my spoon through the computer screen. That soup looks delicious and comforting. I am so over winter! I hope things are back to normal for you soon!!!

    Stay warm!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  7. How delicious, Elizabeth. One of my favorites....
    My favorite Thai cafe makes a phenomenal coconut soup that's perfect for this weather.
    I had no idea that things come to a standstill to this degree! I hope very much that everything will be up and running again shortly.
    You too...stay warm and safe, dear friend...
    Much love,
    - Irina

  8. Ooohhh, this looks delicious. I'll definitely try it. I eat a lot of soup....light yet filling. One of my favourites is Red Lentil Soup. Easy peasy....lightly fry 2-3 chopped onions in olive oil, throw in 1 can chopped tomatoes, a little lemon peel and pepper, simmer 10 mins, then add 1 cup or so of red lentils, 2 litres chicken stock. Simmer for about 1 hour....add chopped chives....maybe some cooked chorizo pieces. Voila! Sprinkle on more chopped chives to serve. Hope you like it.


  9. That is just what i need I am so sick, two days now.
    Thank goodness I had some frozen soup.
    I love egg drop. yvonne

  10. Elizabeth this looks so very delicious!! We have more frigid weather coming in so this may very well be on my stove very soon!!

    The Arts by Karena

  11. We/ve been to Vietnam several times on bicycle trips, and I love pho. It's pronounced fa which most Americans don't realize. Yours looks yummy!!!


Thank you for coming to visit Pine Cones and Acorns. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Although I try to come to visit every blog that comments sometimes I just do not get the chance, but I do try to comment here.