This flavorful broth-based Vietnamese-style soup is infused with fragrant ginger, garlic and whole spices, then piled high with fresh herbs and delicate pea shoots for a hit of freshness. If your shoots are longer than a few inches, snip them into shorter, bite-size pieces.
20 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 oz brown rice vermicelli noodles
1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 cups pea shoots
1/2 cup each loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro and chopped fresh mint
2 green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, combine broth, ginger, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, turmeric and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add chicken. Simmer gently, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink inside and reaches 165˚F when tested with an instant-read thermometer in center, about 15 minutes. (NOTE: Do not boil.) Using tongs, transfer chicken to a cutting board; let cool slightly. Chop or shred into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Arrange a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl; strain broth mixture through sieve, discarding solids. Return liquid to Dutch oven and heat on low. Stir in chicken, lime juice and pepper and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; divide among bowls. Ladle broth mixture over top, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with jalapeño, pea shoots, cilantro, mint and green onions, dividing evenly.
For an eye-catching contrast of colors, try using red or tricolor quinoa. To save time, buy the frozen spinach that’s already chopped and thaw it in your fridge overnight; just be sure to squeeze it dry before using.
Sorrel’s lemony flavor is a perfect pairing for briny shellfish, such as clams. This recipe easily serves four as an elegant appetizer; to make it a meal, toss the clams and broth with 8 oz (4 cups cooked) whole-grain linguine.