Here is the recipe that my friend JT gave me–she said it was a week day favorite with her family that is easy to prepare. She arrived in the states with her family from VN as a very young child and her mother still cooks amazing traditional meals! However, we’ve talked alot about how time consuming the preparation can be for many VN dishes and I was honored that she shared something quick and easy with me.
JT’s advice is to use a homemade chicken stock if you can for best flavor. However, I found a “cheater recipe” for VN stock that I will add at the bottom of the post. I used it to prepare the soup and liked the flavor just fine.
Meat & Vegetable Soup
Ingredients: Serves 4
• 5 cups of chicken stock (or 3 cans of chicken broth*)
• 1 cup water
• ½ pound cooked chicken* or pork (either ground or finely shredded)
• 1 cup of chop cabbage
• ½ cup of chop carrots
• 1 potato (cubed)
• Granulated chicken bouillon
Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot. Skim any impurities, if necessary. Reduce heat. Add meat and simmer until the meat is warmed through. Add carrots and potato. Simmer until carrots and potato cubes are softened. Add cabbage. Adjust to taste with granulated chicken bouillon. Add salt, sugar and pepper as needed.
Serve soup as is or with a small amount of white rice added. Garnish with chopped green scallions and cilantro.
** For the chicken, I used 1/2 shredded rotisserie chicken. 1 breast, 1 leg, 1 thigh.
**Cheater broth: simmer broth with 2 quarter sized slices ginger and 1 scallion for every 4c broth. Lightly smash ginger and scallions with flad side of knife before adding to broth to release flavors. Simmer for 20 minutes and discard solids. Broth is then ready to use. (I cheated even more and used a tube of minced ginger paste that I had on hand from the grocery store. I substituted 1T for the sliced ginger and did not strain it out.)
NOTE: This step could be done in advance and frozen in a ziploc bag if you don’t have time to do it all at once.