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Mar 27, 2013 08:09 AM

How often do you have soup?

I have soup almost daily, and probably at least 5x a week.

When I'm traveling, and I need to grab something quick and convenient, soup options will often drive my dining decisions.

Like last night, was traveling and ended up at McDonalds and was so desperate for soup I made a second trip to a nearby 7-11 to get some microwaveable soup. It wasn't very good, but at least it was warm, liquidy and savory.

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  1. Idealy, maybe three or four times a week. At least once a week or so, I make a phony pho. One of my favorite breakfasts is simply hot broth - chicken, turkey, pork, beef, or some combination. However, if I don't have homemade broth around, I eat soup less.

    19 Replies
    1. re: MGZ

      Yes, soup for breakfast is severely underrated, and underutilized.

      1. re: MGZ

        Winter, almost daily. Often for breakfast. Summer, less but still 3X week. I'm pushing for soup on the Home Cooking DOTM. Voting is underway fellow soupers. MGZ, what's in your phony pho?

        1. re: ItalianNana

          Well, I make broth out of whatever meat and/or bones I find on the cheap - beef bones, chicken carcasses, turkey wings, pork neck bones, etc - in whatever combinations I think might work. Onion and garlic are the usual additions to the stock. I then freeze a bunch of each batch.

          When I want to make my phony pho, I reheat the defrosted stock at a simmer with garlic, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, and dried chiles (lemongrass too, if I have it on hand). After an hour, I remove the aromatics and pour the broth over rice or soba noodles. I serve it topped with cilantro, mint, sliced serrano chiles, bean sprouts, leftover thinly sliced meat,* leafy greens,** an egg I poached gently in the broth, or whatever combination of the above I have on hand.

          *If the meat is raw, I simmer it in the broth for a minute or two.

          **Simmered in the broth for a couple minutes. I've used spinach, chard, and escarole (not very pho-ish, huh?).

          1. re: MGZ

            MGZ-thank you.
            It sounds delicious and far too complex to be called phony. Hey, you could call it faux pho...wait, it's pronounced FA, thought I was being clever. The soba noodles are the buckwheat ones? Then I'm guessing gluten free!!!
            I'm going to try your soup. It's funny you mention this particular soup. I had never had it, but recently started gathering recipes to get a sense of the generally agreed upon ingredients and methods.

            1. re: ItalianNana

              Most of the soba noodles I've encountered have wheat flour in addition to the buckwheat. Be aware of that if you're avoiding gluten.

              1. re: cayjohan

                Oh. I appreciate that information. Maybe I can find rice noodles that are similar. I always read labels carefully, but was getting excited there for a minute. In my case, even tiny amounts of gluten are not an option. I don't care for many of the GF specialty products and am always looking for foods naturally GF.

                1. re: ItalianNana

                  Then the faux pho won't likely work for you at all. Soy sauce and fish sauce often contain wheat, gluten and glutamates from msg or naturally occurring in the soybeans and the processing of them.

                  If that's not an issue for you, rice noodles made from 100% rice would be the best choice, or mung bean/cellophane noodles, if you prefer.

                  1. re: 1sweetpea


                    Tamari brand GF soy sauce has been around since I got the diagnosis of Celiac disease. Ditto for Dynasty Oyster "flavored" sauce. The sodium salt glutamic acid is what is in MSG and is not "gluten." It's on the list of safe ingredients for Celics. I will certainly try the rice noodles. And check out the cellophane ones as well. Are those the ones that GROW when you put them in a hot pan? Thanks for the suggestion.

                  2. re: ItalianNana

                    ItalianNana, I'm toying with the option of tossing some toasted kasha groats into a broth soup, for that wonderful buckwheat flavor. No gluten worries then. Might be an option for you?

                    1. re: cayjohan

                      It certainly might! In many things. I know groats are on the safe list, just didn't know what they were and have forgotten all about them. I just peeked into a GF cooking site and found lots of ways to use them. Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion!

                  3. re: cayjohan

                    Soba noodles made from 100% buckwheat are called "ju-wari" soba. (十割そば). Unfortunately, they are rare.

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Thanks for the term to look for! I've heard that they are virtually impossible to find in the U.S.; true?

                  4. re: ItalianNana

                    FWIW, it's more like "fuh." And here's a wonderful recipe. I make the stock is pretty large volume and then freeze in meal-size portions.


                    1. re: c oliver

                      Thanks for the correction. I'll try to remember with...
                      Phee Phy Phoh Phuh :-D

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Keep in mind, the whole point of "phony pho"* is that you simply use whatever stocks you have on hand. The idea is that you take what you may have made with a future turkey gravy, or whatever,** in mind and doctor it at the last minute to "fake" it. The gently poached egg is much more of a Korean soft tofu soup inspired addition, but it works.

                        That recipe, however, reminds me that I should add some star anise and clove to the hour simmer, creating a bit more "phoness".

                        *The beauty of both the prevailing American pronunciation and the alliteration apparent in typewritten words is that the lack of authenticity matches that of the dish.

                        **I actually liked the broth I made with the trimmings from a prime rib, pork neck bones, and a coupla turkey necks best. I spose it would work with a vegetable stock as well. Nevertheless, if you make and keep broths frequently, it is a simple way to create a tasty dinner that requires little attention for most of the prep.

                      2. re: ItalianNana

                        "Faux pho" is quite clever.

                        As to gluten, I've never paid much attention, but rice noodles are a fine substitute that we have used, as well as bean threads.

                        It's phony, as I explained a bit downthread, because I take stocks that I have made simply to use up cheap meat trimmings (and/or carcasses, etc.). The same broths are the stuff of a big mugfulla breakfast for me, left unadorned. Otherwise, they may become the base for a sauce or a soup.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          You're also missing star anise and cinnamon/cassia, which are key to pho's flavor profile, at least for me. I realize the Vietnam and its neighbors have many regional variations. I like your addition of lemongrass, though. That's a nice touch.

                          I think that the assortment of bones can only serve to enrich the taste of any broth, including pho, even though purists might insist that only beef bones be used. My more eclectic Asian broths often include lamb or goat bones, chicken wings, beef bones OR pork and chicken bones (no lamb or beef). I've thrown dried squid or dried shrimps in too, to amp up the umami effects, but avoid them if you are gluten free. I've definitely seen msg on the ingredient list for some of the dried squid varieties.

                  5. re: MGZ

                    For a while, I was on a tomato soup w/blue cheese for breakfast kick. It was the best!

                    1. re: jlhinwa

                      Must look quite "patriotic" in the bowl.

                  6. My problem: In theory I like soup, in practice, I hate burning my mouth. Yeah, I know, take tiny sips---that's how I burn my mouth. And it must be just me, because other diners are slurping the same soup without discomfort. And once I burn my mouth, it takes several days to recover my taste buds. So, I usually avoid soup.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Probably once a week to once every two weeks. I probably make it from scratch several times a year too. When I make it I will eat it several times in a row.

                      1. Several times a week, I make large batches of chic soup and freeze in serving size containers. I'll even have it for breakfast!

                        1. Never in summer.

                          In fall, winter, and early spring at least every two weeks. I'm including certain stews in this answer.....