Vietnamese "Beef"-Noodle Soup
A tasty vegetarian alternative to the traditional burger.
3 to 4-ounce bundle thin rice noodles or bean-thread noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (5 to 6-inch) piece kombu (sea vegetable) (optional)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 cups water
6 to 8 ounces seitan, cut into thin shreds
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Thinly sliced lime sections for garnish
- Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente, then drain and cut into shorter lengths suitable for soup. Set aside until needed.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté over medium-low heat until both are golden.
- Add the broth (optional) kombu, soy sauce, ginger, five-spice powder, and water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Add the bean sprouts, half of the scallions, and half of the cilantro. Season with lime juice, pepper, and if desired, some additional soy sauce. Simmer for 3 minutes longer, then remove from the heat.
- Serve at once, garnishing the top of each serving with a thin wedge or two of lime, and the remaining cilantro and scallions.
Makes 6 servings.
Adapted from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.
Recipe provided courtesy of Nava Atlas; www.vegkitchen.com.