Fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup – make it today!

Fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup – make it today!

The closest pho restaurant is about 20 minutes from home, so time to make some fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup!

Between driving, ordering, waiting, and coming back we are looking at at least an hour and a half. That’s about 3 times as long as a delicious home made pho takes, so we have been making it ourselves.

A couple of years ago, in the midst of a bout  of bone broth madness, we were making way more than we could freeze, much less eat. Once, I spiced up a batch with cinnamon, anise and cloves when it hit me – it smelled like pho! Even since that day, Roland and I have made pho-inspired soups regularly.

Fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup – make it today!


I posted a pictures of our latest batch on Instagram the other day, and since so many requested the recipe, here it is!

Fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup

Note – This recipe assumes you have already made a batch of meaty bone broth and have it and some of the slow cooked meat (or a rotisserie chicken) reserved for today’s meal.

(if you have time for slow PHO, click here for the best recipe ever)

Prepare the pho broth

  • 6 cups beef bone broth or regular beef broth and 2 cups water
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 inches ginger cut in thin rings
  • 1 piece star anise
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • salt to taste (generous)

In a large pot, bring everything to boil and let it simmer on low for about 30 minutes (if you have time, you can let it go longer).

Strain the spices.

Prepare your toppings

You will be using the slow cooked beef from your broth recipe, but if you don’t have enough (or any) slow cooked meat, some shredded rotisserie chicken would also be great.

  • Slow cooked meat and/or rotisserie chicken
  • 2/3 lb carrots, sliced
  • 5 stalks celery sliced
  • 2 packaged broccolini or bok choy, sliced into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups chopped white cabbage
  • green onions, chopped
  • cilantro – chopped
  • limes – in wedges


  • rice noodles (cook using package instructions in advance)
  • jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • bean sprouts
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • plum sauce

Chop the veggies in large bite sizes – carrots in strips or thin disks, celery in disks and broccoli or bok choy into bite size pieces. Slice the cabbage thinly.

While the broth is simmering with the spices, bring a large pot of water to a boil and immerse all the veggies for 3-4 minutes. Take out and place on the side.

If you are making rice noodles, now is the time to boil that, too.

To serve

Place the hot broth in bowls (strain any stray spices away)

Let each person choose what they want – veggies, meat, noodles, cilantro, sauce, toppings.

I love cilantro, green onion and lime squeezed generously on top.

Making this fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup is easy, but we always try to make enough for tomorrow, then put the leftovers in jars to take to work!

leftover fast, healthy, pho-inspired soup

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