Try my recipe for Easy Vegan Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup! You just need a couple of ingredients and a bit of time to make this vegan version of authentic Vietnamese Pho!
I am a big fan of soups! I haven’t always been one, though! When I grew up back in Germany, my granny used to cook lunch for the whole family every day and no there was always some kind of soup before the main course. Now don’t get me wrong, we were not fancy people, my family just believes that soup is a universal remedy and should be eaten every day. Then came the years of rebellion, when I wouldn’t like to eat soup or anything really, that my granny made. A pretty serious issue. See, I actually grew up with 19th-century author Heinrich Hoffmann’s collection of children’s stories, one of which is solely dedicated to the disastrous consequences of soup – refusing. I’ll sum it up for you! Augustus, a healthy, strong boy, proclaims that he will no longer eat his soup. Over the next five days, he dies.
Well, I clearly lasted a bit longer, and after a long soup break in my late teens, I rediscovered my love for any type of soup! Especially now, as spring is quickly approaching, and we all want to shed one or five pounds, soups should be our best friend. A healthy soup includes fresh, low-fat ingredients and a minimum of salt and extra fat. Today’s recipe for Vegan Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup ticks all those boxes!
In Vietnam, Pho is served primarily at breakfast time! I personally can not imagine swapping my beloved oatmeal for noodle soup in the morning but I do see how a bold vegetable loaded Pho could serve as an energy source for a whole hard working day.
Trust me, if you’re feeling blah or you think you might come down with a cold, my vegetarian Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup might be just what you need. In fact, Pho has the same comforting effect as chicken soup — but with a lot of fragrant spices added to it. In any authentic pho broth, cinnamon and star anise lead the charge, more subtle notes come from cloves and cardamom. Do not be fooled by the small amount listed in the recipe. Believe me, this pho really packs a punch! The spices will be roasted before we add them to the broth and will become very strong. Along with the whole spices, I am adding roasted onions, ginger and lemongrass to the broth, which gives the soup sweetness, a hint of heat and a certain smokiness! Make sure to brown the ginger and onion for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Of course, the authentic Pho Broth is made with bones. For our vegan version, we are using vegetable broth instead. You can use good quality broth powder to make the 2 l of broth needed for the recipe. I like to use Organic Yeast-Free Vegetable Broth Powder as it has no artificial additives and I really enjoy the flavour. Do keep the broth rather light, though! If you are worried about your sodium intake, you can substitute the vegetable broth with low sodium broth. For a super low-calorie pho, substitute the noodles with zucchini noodles!
I really hope you get to try my recipe for this Vegan Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup! It’s easier to prepare than you might think and so good for you. Or shall I say, good pho you?
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Vegan Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho)
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 onion, big
- 30 g ginger
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 2 l vegetable broth low sodium
add - ins
- 1 lime
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 carrot
- 150 g rice noodles
- 100 g enoki mushrooms
- 100 g bean sprouts
Add cloves, anise, cinnamon and cardamom to a pan and heat the spices on medium high a couple of minutes until they start to smoke. Take off heat and set spices aside in a little bowl.
Peel the onion and slice it coarsely. Chop the ginger and cut the lemongrass into 4 cm pieces. Smash the lemongrass with the blunt side of a heavy knife to bruise and release the aroma and oils
In a medium pot, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium heat and add onion slices and ginger. Fry for about 5 minutes until browned, stirring once in a while. Add lemongrass and let fry for another minute.
Add whole spices and broth, turn up the heat and let everything come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 2 hours on low heat.
Cut the lime into quarters. Chop the cilantro and julienne the carrot. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot and add the noodles. Turn off the heat and let noodles simmer in the water until al dente. Wash and trim the enoki mushrooms. Put all ingredients into separate little bowls.
Pass soup through a sieve and discard onion, ginger, spices and lemongrass. Reheat broth and season with salt and sugar to taste. Add more water, if you find it too strong in flavour.
Bring broth to the table in the pot and let everyone assemble their own individual soup bowls. Squeeze some lime juice on top for a fresh citrus note. Enjoy!
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