Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cows With Guns and Pho Soup

An internet friend of mine, moonwatcher, went to a Dana Lyons concert.  She posted a link to Cows With Guns, a song of his, that I listened to and just loved.  Here is the link:  Cows With Guns  I really liked it so I began playing it for my husband this morning.  It only played the first couple of measure and he said, "Cows With Guns?"  He not only has heard it and played it for our children, he has a copy on our hard drive!  Gotta love it, hope you do, too.  My youngest daughter walked in as I was listening to it and said, "I like The Duck Song better."  (It is not by Dana Lyons, by the way.)  You know that feeling when everyone in the room knows what is going on and you don't?  Yep.

I am making my own Pho Vegan Noodle Soup today, so I have veggie stock cooking right now.  I spent some time online the past week reading different recipes and as much basic information about ingredients as I could find and am trying my own take on it now.  I have water in a stock pot with charred onion and charred ginger, carrots, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and whole peppercorns, and am simmering it all for a couple of hours.  I'll put up more when I get more done on it.

It is now several hours later.  The picture at the very bottom of this post is the vegetable broth after about 30 minutes.  Then I added dried shiitake mushrooms, some lemon grass, a piece of kombu, and a little leek.  I let the stock continue simmering all afternoon, overall, about 6 hours.  Then I skimmed out the veggies with a mesh strainer.  If I had wanted a perfectly clear broth, I would have strained it through cheesecloth.

At this point I added 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of Rice Wine Vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Taste it and see if you like it.  I loved it and left it alone at this point.  Most of the recipes that I read called for some fish sauce, but that contains anchovies, so I skipped it.  I know that there are a couple of brands that make vegan “fish” sauce, but did not want to drive to Whole Foods or Sprouts to look for it.

In a bowl, I put the wide rice noodles that I had prepared, then ladled hot broth over them.  I served the soup and put the garnishes on the table so people could choose what they wanted.  The offerings were bean sprouts, mint leaves, dried basil (usually use fresh, but I was out), tofu, and lime wedges.
This was very good, but according to the family was still not as good as what we had at the restaurant.  I have to admit, though, that I liked it better; after all, I just spent all day cooking it! :)

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