I adapted this from a recipe in this week’s New York Times. Asparagus, peas and spring onions lend themselves beautifully to this mild flavored noodle Vietnamese noodle soup. Pre-made “Vegetarian Pho Broth” is produced by Pacific foods, and although I admit I’ve never seen it for sale, I’m guessing that the Bay Area is a good place to find it. Alternately I’ve included the link to make the broth yourself.
Heat 2 1/2 Quarts vegetarian pho broth in a pot (don’t boil). If you are feeling very ambitious and have extra time, you can make it yourself using this recipe.
Cut 1/2 lb. firm tofu in bite sized pieces and marinate with 1 T. soy sauce and 1 t. sesame oil or hot sesame oil.
Snap 1 bunch asparagus and slice any spears fatter than your pinky in half lengthwise, then cut in 2 inch pieces.
Pull the stems and strings off 2 C. snap peas and cut them all into 2 or 3 pieces.
Slice 1-3 spring onions thinly (cut larger ones in half lengthwise first). You can use the greens in this recipe as well if they are tender enough to chop easily.
Thinly slice 4-6 shittake mushrooms, either fresh or dried and hydrated with hot water for 10 minutes.
Boil water and cook 12 oz. of either wide rice noodles (pho) or Japanese soba noodles as per directions. However, you will want to err on the side of undercooking as they will be going into hot broth. Drain and rinse, then place an equal amount into 6 bowls.
Distribute the peas and the tofu equally among the bowls.
Add the asparagus to the broth and cook until it turns bright green and is just tender. Throw the onions into the soup, stir a few times, then ladle soup into the bowls.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and mint. Serve with sliced fresh green chiles on the side (optional) and slices of lime or lemon.