Wednesday, November 24, 2010

VeganMoFo: Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Next stop on our culinary journey around the world... Vietnam!!
I've never been to Vietnam, but I have heard wonderful things from people who have. I also haven't had much Vietnamese food, though it too has quite a reputation. This mofo challenge is definitely getting me excited to learn more about all these amazing culinary traditions...

I felt a little lazy not doing tons of research and checking out 6 Vietnamese Cooking library books... but sometimes you gotta keep in simple. So, I turned to an untried recipe in one of my all-time favorite books: Vietnamese Noodle Soup from "Voluptuous Vegan." I hadn't ever made this soup before, despite my deep love for Voluptuous Vegan. In fact, I'm not sure I've made anything quite like this before.

It involved making a special veggie stock first, and since the broth clearly plays such an important role in the final product, I figured I'd better follow directions. Usually, for vegetable broth I just use whatever veggie scraps and peels and onion ends and such have collected in my special "broth fixins" plastic bag in the freezer. But this time I did it all just as she said, and got a lovely, gingery lemongrassy broth in the end. I have lemongrass growing in my garden, and it always thrills me to no end when I actually get to use it in my cooking. It feels so exciting to grow such an alluring and exotic ingredient right here at home! The soup has coconut milk and peanut butter added in to the broth as well, which gives it a richness and a sense of substance that is definitely more than mere broth.

As you can see, the final product is full of goodness: rice noodles, mung beans, cabbage, & hot chilies! And then there are all the fun little toppings you can sprinkle on. Of course I went for it all! Roasted peanuts, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, and even a little dash of some chopped mint.

The final dinner was really wonderful. Although it's a pretty big bowl of soup, it's a light meal, and very warming. It was perfect on a cool autumn night. The soup most definitely has some spiciness, but not too much. I suppose you could easily modify this by monitoring how hot your chilies are. This was a pretty quick and very yummy dinner. Definitely something I'll come back to again!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a surprise destination!

In the meantime... Keep on mofoin'
*apologies to R.Crumb.
p.s. that's supposed to be a frying pan

5 comments:

  1. I have looked at the soup for years now, I am glad to know you liked it, now I really want to try it.

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  2. Looks really, really good!

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  3. I just wanted to let you know that your "around the world" theme is spectacular! And the cartoons are a fun addition to the site.

    This soup looks fantastic too; I can't wait to try it. Keep rocking the awesome mo-fo action!

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  4. Best drawing! Keep on mofoing.

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  5. Love the crumb style drawing!! And the soup looks delicious, I'll be adding voluptuous vegan to my wishlist.

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