Pho Soup—Classic Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup is one of the most delicious healthy soul warming soups for fall and winter! If you have a cold, make this and add in some of your favorite hot chili sauce —You’ll have a vitamin C cold fighter in a bowl! Now, there’s no way around speeding the process up for perfection of flavors…so consider making the broth 24hours before serving. It’s savory, delicious, soul soothing soup! Gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo and Nut Free. We get letters about what type of noodles to use. With so many rice noodles out there, we like Annie Chun’s Brown Rice noodles because people can find them in most markets, they are gluten-free, delicious and easy to work with. If you have a favorite noodle to use in your Pho, tell us in the comments below.
Fill a very large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add the beef chuck pieces and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain off the water to discard impurities. (Impurities will be in the form of frothy white film/bubbles floating on the surface of the water) Return the beef to the pot and fill with the 6 quarts of fresh water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and skim the surface occasionally to remove impurities.
While the stock is cooking, dry-roast the ginger and 2 onions by placing them in a skillet over high heat. Turn so the skins are evenly charred but not cooked, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and add to soup stock. Then add the star anise, cloves, fish sauce and agave nectar and continue to simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 ½ hours.
Remove 1 piece of chuck from the pot and set it aside to cool. Continue to simmer the other 3 pieces to create a rich beef broth, about 30 minutes more. (The broth will seem really salty, but once you add the rice noodles and fixings everything will balance out)
Meanwhile, arrange the fixings on a platter and set aside. Cut the reserved piece of chuck roast into thin slices.
You may continue to let the broth simmer, but remove the spices and onions from the broth. The ginger can remain. If the meat looks like its going to fall apart in the broth, remove it. Save it and make beef/pepper hash for breakfast the next morning.
Just before serving, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a handful of noodles in a sieve with a handle and lower into the boiling water. Using a fork stir often and cook until just done, about 2 minutes. Remove the sieve and shake a bit to drain well. You can cook 2-3 portions of noodles at a time. Transfer noodles to large warmed soup bowls.
To serve, place a few slices of roast and sirloin on the noodles, top with about a tbsp. of each: sliced yellow onion, green onions and cilantro. Ladle a generous amount of boiling beef broth on top. The bowl must be large enough to hold about 1 part noodles and 4 parts soup.
Serve with your choice of the remaining fixings and enjoy!
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Adapted from “The Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking” by Mai Pham