Pho-tastic

Embrace asparagus in a healthy homemade soup
Photo by Sarah Adler

Photo by Sarah Adler

Q. How do you know if you live in the Northwest? 

A. At the first sight of an asparagus bunch in the produce section in spring, your heart starts quickly pulsing and a smile spreads across your lips. You quickly add two, maybe three bunches into your cart, hoping they will last throughout the week. But then you eat them all when you get home.

When spring (and asparagus) arrives, its time for those winter root veggies to take a vacation. I don’t know many Pacific Northwesterners who complain about that. By the time spring (and the sun) arrives, we are ready and craving bright, fresh bites. Food is the fastest way to the soul, and the most delicious excuse to get us excited about cooking again. And here is a winter-rut-be-gone solution — warm veggie-filled homemade pho, made at home! With lots of asparagus, of course.

Healthy Homemade Veggie Pho

It’s optional to add garlic, onion, star anise, or fish sauce to enhance the great flavors, or organic chicken/beef, too. Pho is gluten and dairy-free too, and can be made ahead of time. Makes 3 servings.

  • 4 cups (or 1 carton) organic chicken broth, or bone broth
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or ½ inch fresh ginger, grated)
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized into “noodles,” or buy brown rice noodles
  • ½ bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and sliced in half if thick
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper
  • 1 handful chopped basil, parsley and/or cilantro

Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil. Add chopped carrots, asparagus, jalapeño, and leftover bits of zucchini to lightly brown. Then pour chicken or bone broth over the top and add in ginger, turmeric, sea salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add in zucchini “noodles” and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes (or add in brown rice noodles and cook according to the package). Garnish with fresh herbs, and serve hot.

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