|Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup in a Crockpot|
Many, many years ago, my husband bought me this crockpot for Christmas. I had another very good crockpot at the time, but he thought I loved my first one so much that I might put a second one to good use as well. He was right, of course. This cute little crockpot is perfect for keeping hot dips warm at parties or cooking up a perfect batch of soup on a rainy afternoon like we had today here in Charlotte.
This recipe is super simple, gluten free, and it basically cooks itself in about 2 or 3 hours. I recently was wandering the aisles at my grocery store looking at the chicken broths and a new item from Pacific Natural Foods caught my eye – a Chicken Pho soup base! If you are a fan of Vietnamese food, you will be as excited as I was. Pho (pronounced -fuh-) is a very simple and delicious Vietnamese soup flavored with herbs like star anise, ginger, cloves, cilantro, and garlic. You can make it with beef or chicken (I prefer chicken) and vegetables and rice noodles. So simple. When I saw this Pho Soup Base I just had to try it. If you don’t see this pho soup base at a supermarket near you, simply use chicken broth and experiment a little bit with the herbs that you have on hand.
|Snap peas, onion, and baby carrots|
4 cups of chicken broth or pho soup base
1/2 onion, sliced very thinly
handful of baby carrots, sliced thinly
1 inch of ginger, grated with a microplane
1/2 chicken breast, sliced in small pieces
1 tablespoon Tamari sauce
2 ounces of rice noodles (handful)
handful of snap peas or beans
bean sprouts (optional)
fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Combine broth, chicken, carrots, grated ginger, and Tamari sauce into a crock pot. Cover and turn to low for two or three hours. Add the rice noodles. Cover and let cook for a few more minutes. Add the snap peas and turn off the heat. Serve with a little bit of chopped cilantro for garnish.
Some additional notes …
What is tamari sauce? Tamari sauce is a must-have in your kitchen if you are gluten-free. It is basically a stronger version of soy sauce.
Do I really need a microplane? Yes. Yes you do. Microplanes are so handy in the kitchen, they don’t take up much room in your utensil drawer, and they are very inexpensive. Mine is yellow – I found it on clearance at Marshall’s for a few dollars and it works great. A microplane is a flat, handled grater with small holes that allow you to grate whatever you need to right into your bowl or pot or saucepan. So convenient! It cleans very easily too – don’t try to grate ginger on a box grater. No good can come of that endeavor.
Fresh ginger? Powdered ginger? If you have fresh ginger, by all means use it! Fresh ginger is very inexpensive and keeps pretty well – I wrap mine in saran wrap and keep it in the fridge. However, if you don’t have fresh ginger, use powdered. I use powdered ginger in recipes all the time.
Slicing your chicken … Did you know that if your chicken breast is still a little bit frozen, it will be so much easier to slice it super thin? Seriously. Give it a try. You can thank me later.
The final product … the broth is not super-duper clear like you would find in a Vietnamese restaurant because I put the chicken in the broth uncooked. If you cook your chicken separately and then add it to the soup, you will have broth that is much more clear. Enjoy!!