Friday, 11 September 2009

Free Recipe Friday

Today is Friday and that means it is free recipe day! The recipe that I have chosen to share today is not really mine. I learned it from a very special friend who I have been missing tons lately because she lives on the other side of the world. So I was thinking of her today and thought I would share this with all of you. We make this soup quite a bit as it goes long way and it is a great way to use up leftover chicken. (If I have less chicken I just use more rice.)

Now in all fairness to April I am not sure that I do her soup justice as she makes great authentic homemade Pho soup which she learned to do in Cambodia where she used to live. I loved watching her make it here in her kitchen but I am not sure I ever wrote it down when she lived here. So it may not be quite the same as hers but my family loves it! Thanks April I named the soup after you!

April's Chicken Vietnamese Pho

8 cups homemade chicken broth (or you can use 2 boxes of the ready made broth)
3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I often use leftovers from a roasted chicken)
¾ Cup Uncooked Jasmine or Basmati Rice
2 Tablespoons of Oyster or Fish Sauce
Salt to taste (I don’t usually use any)

Soup Garnishes (you can make some or all of these – Jason and I like them all but the kids like a few)
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
8 Cloves of Minced garlic
Cabbage thinly sliced
Cilantro finely chopped
Chopped Limes
Bean sprouts
Lime wedges

Heat fry pan to medium heat. Pour the uncooked rice into the fry pan. Cook rice until it just starts to turn a light brown. You will have to watch it as it can burn easily. This gives a great flavour to the rice once you put in the soup. Once the rice is a nice light brown colour remove it from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a large soup pot and add the chicken broth, chicken, rice and the fish sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiled reduce heat and continue to simmer until the rice starts to break apart at the ends. I think this takes about 40 minutes.

While the soup is simmering get the soup garnishes ready. In the fry pan heat the remaining oil and add the minced garlic. Sauté the minced garlic until browned. Once browned drain oil on a paper towel and set browned garlic apart in a bowl. Pour the soup in each soup bowl. You can top each bowl with a little cabbage, cilantro, bean sprouts and garlic. Squeeze the lime over top. Serve. My kids like to be able to add what they like so you can make any of the garnishes optional allowing people to add more or less according to their taste. They also like to add fried noodles on top which is definitely not authentic but they love them.


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