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An eastern take on noodle soup

Mouthwatering Vietnamese Pho Bo soup with chopsticks

The season is about to change, but there’s still some summer in the air. This soup is inspired by flavours of the east, striking just the right mix that’s a tasty meal any time of year.

A variation on a noodle soup, the key is the spices, including star anise, though if you don’t have any available – or prefer an alternative to its liquorice flavour – you can use a couple of cloves instead.

With the meat, you can ask the butcher to thinly slice your steak for you or use a sharp chef’s knife to get thin slices at home. Be sure to trim all the fat off the steak.

If you want your steak well done, stir it into the broth and cook for about 3 minutes.

Enjoy. Soup’s on.

Vietnamese Inspired Beef Noodle Soup

  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3.5 cm (1-1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved
  • 1 each cinnamon stick and star anise
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup matchstick or shredded carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 4 oz brown rice vermicelli noodles
  • 8 oz striploin steak, well-trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, mint and basil leaves, chopped

In a deep non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, brown onion and ginger on all sides. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cinnamon, star anise, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Using a small sieve, remove all the solid pieces and discard. Stir in carrot, red pepper, lime juice and soy sauce.

In a saucepan of boiling water, cook noodles for about 2 minutes or until softened. Drain.

Divide noodles among soup bowls and top with steak. Ladle hot broth over top of steak to cook. Top with bean sprouts and fresh herbs to serve.

Serves 4.

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