Phở Chay (Vegetarian Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
Makes two very large bowls
See sidebar in issue for optional flavor enhancers
There are a few ways to boost the flavor of the stock. Eric recommends lightly charring the onion and the ginger over an open flame before adding to the stock. I missed the meaty flavor usually found in phở. The stock may be cloudier but to add that earthy flavor and keep it vegetarian try the following:
Dice about 2 Cups of mushrooms. In your stock pot, coat the bottom with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat on medium high. Add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until they reduce down and a fond starts to form on the bottom of the pan. (Fond is French for “base” and commonly refers to the browned bits and caramelized drippings of meat and vegetables that are stuck to the bottom of a pan after sautéing or roasting.) Add a ¼ cup of red wine and stir until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain out the mushrooms and proceed with instructions for the stock, adding in spices, etc….