Vegetarian Pho

This is a healthy twist on a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. It includes tender tofu and lots of veggies swimming in a delicate broth with unique flavors from the 5-spice blend. Think simple and cozy at baseline but also a canvas for throwing on your favorite toppings to jazz it up.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger root , minced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 onion , thinly sliced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 stalks celery , chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrots (or baby variety)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. Chinese five-spice
  • 1/2 package firm tofu , drained and sliced in strips
  • 1 1/2 cups white or green cabbage , cut in bite size chunks
  • 1 can baby corn , rinsed and drained
  • 3 jalapenos , sliced and divided
  • 1 package rice, buckwheat or ramen noodles
  • 1 bunch green onions , optional, white and light green parts chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves , optional

For Pickled Ginger

  • 1 Tbsp shaved ginger
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Instructions
 

  • To pickle ginger: one day in advance, shave ginger using a vegetable peeler. Add to a small sealable container and top with sugar, vinegar and water. Shake well to combine. Store sealed in the refrigerator for 24-72h prior to using.
    Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Saute' onion, garlic, ginger and celery for 3-5 minutes or until onion begins to turn translucent. Add carrots, mushrooms, soy sauce, veggie broth and 5-spice to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package instructions and set aside. Tip: to prevent sticking, coat drop in a splash of oil and toss.
    After 15 minutes is up, add tofu, cabbage, corn and 1 sliced jalapeno to broth. Simmer an additional 4 minutes. Remove from heat
    To Serve: ladle soup into bowl and top with jalapeno, pickled ginger and bamboo shoots , green onions, fresh cilantro or your other favorite toppings.