Brace yourself peeps, because here comes one of the most delicious, wholesome and satisfying meals you’ll ever make. I am not exaggerating. If you like Asian cuisine, you are going to love this. And who doesn’t love a good soup? I am a big fan of soups of all kind. They are easy, quick and yummy. They are extremely flexible and versatile and a great way to use up leftover veggies. Take that, limp celery! Which means they are economical and help to reduce food waste. A big win all round! Depending on the ingredients you use, they are also one of the cheapest meals you can make. And this vegan Vietnamese pho ticks all the boxes.
What I love about pho is that it is so filling and yet very low in fat. It is also a great all-year round meal. In winter it warms you up, and in summer it is a nice light and refreshing lunch or dinner that doesn’t weigh you down. I love Asian cuisines (the authentic ones, not the usual greasebomb takeaway places in Western countries) – whenever I eat Asian, I really feel how the food just takes all the bad things out of my body. However, eating out Asian can be a challenge if you are vegan (or vegetarian, for that matter). Especially the Vietnamese cuisine tends to be meat-heavy, and you can be hard-pressed to find something truly vegan in a Vietnamese restaurant.
This is where my vegan pho comes in. Filled to the brim with veggies, cubed tofu for the protein and “zoodles” instead of noodles (although you can use any noodles you like), this is one explosion of flavours that is low in carbs, calories and fat, but does not skimp on the taste and nutrition front. See for yourself!
Vegan Vietnamese Pho
750ml vegetable stock
4 garlic cloves, minced
a handfull of leeks (only white and light green part, washed and finely chopped)
3 stalks of celery, washed and finely chopped
a pound (ca. 500 g) mixed vegetables (I used carrots, broccoli, green beans, capsicum, onions and baby corn)
a teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon hot curry powder
a teaspoon of black pepper
half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
half a teaspoon of salt
dash of lemon or lime juice
toppings (optional): fresh coriander, fresh chillies, fried shallots, nuts….
For the zoodles:
2 medium zucchini (or equivalent amount of other noodles)
2 tbsp tamari
300 g firm tofu, cut into cubes
Fry the garlic in a large saucepan until aromatic, add the stock, leeks, celery and vegetables and bring to the boil. Add the spices, turn down the heat and cook until the vegetables are just tender (do not overcook!). Meanwhile, prepare the zoodles, toss in the tamari and divide into two bowls. Top with the veggies, broth and tofu and top with your toppings if using.