Faux-Pho Udon Noodle Soup {MMAZ #21}

This weekend was just about perfect! It included dinner with old & new friends, a beautiful bike ride outdoors around Chatfield Reservoir, relaxing night at home, and a gorgeous run with views of the mountains and frosty lakes. We even passed a Model airplane field, so we had lots of planes to provide entertainment. :)

Cycling Colorado

Cycling versus Ice FishingJanuary Cycling in Colorado

Scenic View on High Line Canal Trail

It was a little strange to see people ice fishing on the reservoir while we were riding our bikes in short-sleeves. That’s not a sport I understand…

We actually decided NOT to go snowboarding this weekend, because both Kirk and I were in the mood to relax a bit more. Funny that relaxing weekend for us includes 5 hours of workouts, but we are a little crazy. ;)

Long bike rides and runs give you plenty of times to think, so it’s perfect for brainstorming recipe ideas. With Udon Noodles being the ingredient for this week, I immediately thought of soup. Lately, my favorite soup has been Pho. There’s a fantastic Pho restaurant close to us that has a vegetarian version with the perfect mix of spices. I decided to use those spices as inspiration for my Udon Noodle Soup.

Faux-Pho Udon Noodle Soup

I used the slow cooker for this meal, so it had plenty of time to absorb the flavors, without tying me to the kitchen for the night. Don’t be scared off by the total time this soup takes, because the active time is fairly minimal. And the end result is worth it – this is absolutely one of the best recipes I’ve created!

Faux-Pho Udon Noodle Soup

by Heather Blackmon

Keywords: slow-cooker bake soup/stew entree appetizer vegan vegetarian udon Vietnamese

Ingredients (2 large bowls or 4 small bowls)

    For the broth

    • cooking spray
    • 1 1/2 onion, quartered
    • 4 inches ginger, halved
    • 1 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 cardamom pod
    • 4 star anise
    • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
    • 1/2 tablespoon lemongrass
    • 6 whole cloves
    • 64 ounces Mushroom Broth
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
    • 1-2 jalapenos, sliced (optional)
    • 8 ounces thin Udon Noodles

    For the tofu

    • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 8 ounces sprouted tofu

    Instructions

    Place onions and ginger on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, cut sides up. Broil on high for 10 minutes, rotate and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

    Prepare spices to be placed into a tea ball or mesh bag. Score the cinnamon stick and break in half.

    Faux-Pho Spices

    Combine cinnamon stick through cloves in tea ball and seal.

    Faux-Pho Spices in Ball

    In a slow cooker, combine the onions, ginger, mushroom broth, spice ball, salt, sugar, and red wine (optional). Stir to combine and seal slow cooker. Cook on High for 2 hours.

    After 2 hours, add desired amount of jalapenos (optional). Cook an additional 1 hour, while preparing tofu.

    To prepare tofu, combine hoisin through coriander and stir until smooth. Dice tofu into 1-2 inch cubes and toss with hoisin sauce. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cook tofu for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

    When soup has cooked for a total of 3 hours, strain solids and discard. Transfer soup to large pot and bring back to a boil. Add Udon Noodles and tofu to boiling soup and cook for 6 minutes or until noodles are tender.

    Udon Noodles

    While noodles are cooking, chop “condiments” for serving. I used cilantro, lime, sprouts, basil, jalapenos. I also recommend Sriracha and Hoisin sauce. Top hot soup with desired condiments and serve with chopsticks and spoons. Enjoy!

    Faux-Pho Condiments

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    Faux-Pho Udon Noodle Soup

    Now that you’ve seen my take on Meatless Mondays from A-Z Udon, it’s time to your creations! Ready…set…go! :)

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    Questions for you:

    • Are you a fan of Pho? That’s one soup I still need to recreate from scratch!
    • What was your favorite outdoor adventure of the weekend?
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    Comments

      • says

        It was almost 60* – talk about weather swings! You’re excused this week, because your Silk recipe looks great. :) Next week is Vodka and I’m going to start the “voting” on Facebook this week for the final letters!

    1. says

      I’ve never had legit beef pho, but I really like the vegetarian versions that I’ve had. I’ve also had Pho Tom, which is shrimp. It’s probably a meat-based broth, but I chose to ignore that.

      • says

        I want you to join us – it would be so fun! I’m not sure Kirk has any extra days of vacation to come to Blend, but I may try to figure something out. He would love to hang with Travis!

      • says

        Sitting on the ice in the cold all day…not my style. I have to stay moving to stay warm!! Sorry this wasn’t posted in time to help with healing powers, but it would be a great choice for next time! :)

      • says

        Thanks Kristina! I hope you do get to make this one – seriously one of my favorite creations. Kirk has already asked for another batch too. We have awesome supportive hubbys. :)

        Your recipe looks so fabulous too!

      • says

        I’m glad I’m not the only one new to Pho – it’s such a flavorful soup! You would love this creation, let me know if you make it. And thank you SO much for the photography complement, I’m trying hard to get better at that!

    2. says

      Infusing spices through one of those tea infusers is genius. I actually have star anise that I bought a while back but I’ve never known what to do with it :S This sounds like an amazing complex-flavoured recipe. Do you have any recommendations on mushroom broth brands? I’ve never seen any before or just didn’t look for them.
      Nadiya @ Milk and Honey on the Run recently posted..Down’s Syndrome… deactivating the chromosome?My Profile

    3. says

      I am a huge Pho fan! I’ve made it one time from scratch, and it was horrible! I’ve had a carton of “Pho Broth” in my pantry for about a year now… I should probably try that out some time. We get Pho from a place down the street quite often. I’ve never had vegan pho though… I’ll have to try this out (especially since I have a carton of mushroom broth!)
      This will not shock you, but Greg and I “relax” in the same way. We definitely GET IT.
      Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning recently posted..Busy Weekend RecapMy Profile

      • says

        I actually made this because the veggie Pho we tried was too sweet and not savory enough – I need a mix! I think you guys would really like this and the crock pot makes it a low-maintenance recipe.

        I knew you and Greg would understand our relaxing weekend! :)

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