Pho-king Easy Pho

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As I've mentioned, I swoon over pho. My colleague Lisa, who's also from DC, joins me in craving good pho that's not readily available in South Florida.

Since it was her birthday, I thought I'd make some for a crowd. Over the past few days, I whipped up a more complicated version because the extra labor in making stock from scratch is worth it. I also created an easy version for this blog, assuming readers aren't comfortable making their own stock.

Here's the hard version, with this caveat. Beef stock is one of the elixirs of life. I would drink it for breakfast. No home cook or chef worth her meddle uses boxed stock. The flavor and body of beef stock is an essential building block in cooking.

That said, if you're eating hydroponic tomatoes and out of season asparagus from Peru, doctoring the boxed stuff will do. Here's how to put things together after the jump.

Prep your ingredients
For the broth: three boxes of low sodium beef broth (or the stuff you made yourself)- two c water - If your guests want to doctor their own soup, let them add the bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and cock sauce.

I assembled it for them, with the results at the top of this post. I like things leafy, but you can always chiffonade your herbs.

How long does this take? Once the broth was finished, the start to finish took me a little over an hour at my house. (I transported it to my friend after.) If I prepped the soup innards with more attention to detail, It would have taken two hours.

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