Ever wonder how the French Get their kids to eat their vegetables? They cover them…
Earlier this week we kicked off ‘Veg Head Month’ on Food Gypsy with two simple vegetable stocks – one roasted, sweet and robust and the other poached, delicate and clear.
Both are equally simple but require time to cook and extract all the flavor and nutrition of all of those lovely veggies. (Click here for both recipes) After that, they moved to the back of the fridge (ruminating) until today; when we deliver not one, but two mushroom soups.
Both with similar ingredients but different approaches. Because we did all that cooking on Monday, today was a snap, simmering the stocks for about 30 minutes to adjust the flavor, both soups were finished, shot and done in under 45 minutes – which is exactly why I love having big containers of stock in the fridge.
The first is my take on vegetarian Phở, or Vietnamese noodle soup. The hot broth is served over rice noodles, usually accompanied by Thai basil, lime and bean sprouts – added to the soup (by the diner) just prior to eating. In the case of ‘rare beef phở ‘ the thin slices of raw beef cook in the hot broth.
I took much same approach here with the enoki mushrooms (a delicate subtle mushroom); instead of cooking them and watching them wilt, I allowed the enoki to soften just slightly in the hot broth for a soft mushroom favor and a crisp finish.
For this soup we used the clear, poached broth started cold, simmered slow (or substitute a good, clear, organic vegetable stock from the isle of your local supermarket). To tweak it to an Asian flavor I added one clove of garlic and about a tablespoon of fresh ginger (both, mined fine), a dash of white pepper and a pinch of salt.
To add a further dimension to the broth I broke out a package of dried, wild chanterelle mushrooms, adding to the stock to hydrate and simmer for 25 minutes.
The rest of the Enoki Phở is à la minute; finely chopped green onion, a small amount of finely sliced yellow onion, a handful of bean spouts, a branch of Thai Basil and a wedge of lime. Vermicelli cooks in no time at all – simply add it to boiling water, cover, remove from heat, allow to stand for a couple of minutes until soft then strain, rise and stand until ready.
The broth, I also stained, removing the chunks of ginger, garlic and mushroom — and we are ready to plate. Mound the rice vermicelli at the bottom of the bowl, add layer of Enoki, a few slices of raw onion, pour on the steaming broth, finish with green onion and one lone chanterell — for luck.
The result is a crisp, dedicate soup, refined and fresh. The Enoki are bright and toothy and the flavor of the chanterelle gives and subtle earthiness to an otherwize ethereal bowl.
A dash of lime, a sprig of basil, a generous splash of hoisin and an equally generous amount of chili oil and this was one very happy Gypsy.
I hesitate to list this under recipes, because all the real cooking as done earlier in the week, this is a throw-it-together-and-look-like-a-superstar meal. Oh, and its vegan and gluten free… look how healthy we are.
And now for my next trick, Rustic Wild Chantrelle Soup, also ready in less than an hour.