Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS – There’s nothing like cooler weather that makes me want to cook up a big batch of soup and spend a cozy evening in with family and friends. Especially one that involves bone broth, grass-fed beef and immune-boosting herbs and vegetables. That’s right, I’m talking about this pho recipe, which will warm you up, aid your gut health, support your immune system during these cold winter months and is downright tasty.
What Is Pho?
Pho or phở originated in Vietnam in the early 20th century and has probably been around even longer, although there is poor documentation of the recipe until the last 90 years. It is thought that the French occupying the region in northern Vietnam and neighboring Chinese traditions both influenced the popular broth that we know today.
After the Geneva Accords, which required Vietnam to split into two in 1954, many northern Vietnamese migrated south and brought their Vietnamese soup along with them. (1) Southern Vietnam was much more liberal with their pho soup and introduced garnishes like cilantro, lime, bean sprouts and Thai basil. How do you pronounce pho? The same you would ‘duh’!
Is Pho Healthy?
I would argue, absolutely. Not only are the benefits of bone broth numerous, including digestive repair, skin and joint health, but adding in healing spices and herbs boosts the benefits even more. Grass-fed beef boasts benefits of CLA, omega 3 fatty acids and is free of all hormones and antibiotics. Instead of traditional white rice noodles used in pho, I incorporated zucchini noodles, which have high anti-inflammatory properties and are high in vitamin C. (You can also opt for gluten-free brown rice noodles.)
Toppings for the pho include cilantro, which helps rid the body of heavy metals, and Thai basil, which boosts immunity and contains natural antioxidant properties. Mint leaves aid in digestion and give a refreshingly cool flavor to the broth. Green onions give a mild, pungent kick and also add in antiviral and antibacterial properties to your pho soup recipe. Bean sprouts add a crunch, and since they are sprouted, are easy to digest, and you can absorb the nutrients within them much easier.
So now you’re wondering how to make this pho recipe. Traditional bone broth can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to prepare, so if you’re using homemade, give yourself a day or two to get your pho broth ready. Otherwise, find a high-quality bone broth made from organic meat and vegetables to add to your pho ingredients. This pho recipe is easier to make than you think, so don’t be afraid to dive in!
How to Make Pho
First, take the bone broth and add it to a large stock pot. Add in onions, carrots, garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamon pods, coriander seeds and coconut aminos and bring it to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat so that the broth will simmer for 30 minutes. While the broth is simmering, go ahead and spiralize your zucchini into noodles or “zoodles.”
Chop up your herbs and vegetables and set aside. Slice your sirloin steak into very thin slices, about one-fourth of an inch. Place the steak slices back in the refrigerator to keep them cold until the broth is ready. After the broth has simmered, strain out the solids and discard them. Return the broth to the stove top and keep piping hot until ready to serve. Now you’re going to assemble your pho soup bowls.
First, add in a handful of zucchini noodles to the bottom of the bowl. Pour in a cup or two of bone broth over the noodles and quickly add 5–6 raw beef slices and watch them begin to cook through in the piping hot broth.
Top off your pho with cilantro, green onion, bean sprouts, mint, Thai basil, organic sriracha and more coconut aminos, if desired.
This pho recipe is so soothing, warming and nourishing. You’ll want to make this again and again in the upcoming winter months!
Pho Recipe — a Gut-Friendly Vietnamese Soup
There’s nothing like cooler weather that makes me want to cook up a big batch of soup and spend a cozy evening in with family and friends. Especially one that involves bone broth, grass-fed beef and immune-boosting herbs and vegetables.
For the broth:
- 6 cups beef bone broth
- 2 onions, peeled and halved
- 4–5 whole carrots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed
- 2–3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 8 star anise
- 5 cardamon pods
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- ½ pound sirloin steak, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 pound zucchini, spiralized
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- Organic sriracha, to taste
- Coconut aminos, to taste
- In a large stock pot, add in beef bone broth, onion, carrots, garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamon pods, coriander seeds and coconut aminos.
- Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let broth simmer for 30 minutes.
- Place zucchini into a spiralizer and spiralize into noodles. Set aside.
- Slice beef into very thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. Keep beef slices in the refrigerator to keep cold until ready to add to the broth.
- Strain the broth and discard the solids. Return the broth to the stove to keep warm.
- In four soup bowls, prepare each serving by adding in zucchini noodles to the bottom.
- Top with pho broth and add in 5–6 raw beef slices.
- Top each bowl with desired amount of herbs, vegetables, sriracha and coconut aminos.
- Serve immediately.