Indio, California: We left Los Angeles Sunday with Lisa coming down with something nasty and Leo will full-blown pink eye. We could have stayed to help our girl, but we bolted back to the desert. We are either the worst parents ever, or the smartestparents ever.

You decide.

Our weather is actually a little chilly. 70 degrees today.

Leo has fully recovered and is back to school. Lisa is feeling much better. Neither of us caught pink eye, but DT has the throat-thing Lisa contracted. I know he is ill because he did not run today. I am avoiding him.

We had flu shots before we left Oregon!

Illness makes me want to make soup. It is in my DNA. Chicken soup. You may recall my previous attempts to make the chicken version of the famed Vietnamese soup, pho. The soup is easy enough to prepare – in a slow cooker – but it is often difficult to find the rice noodles in parts of This Great Nation unless you live in Portland, Oregon, where pho noodles can be found at many convenience stores.

Here is the recipe – I urge you to try the soup and I hope you are eating this broth in the best of health:

While this soup (pronounced Fuh Gaw) may not be totally RV-friendly, I made the Vietnamese soup three times in my motorhome kitchen before posting it on this website. Stewing the spices in a crockpot all day really brings out the intense flavors. To serve, it just takes a moment to boil the rice noodles and prep the toppings. You may have a difficult time finding Banh Pho or rice stick noodles in your community. If so, omit the noodles or substitute spaghetti. I won’t tell.

2-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarse chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 serrano (or jalapeno) pepper, sliced thin
2 pieces star anise
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
Handful fresh cilantro leaves
1 stem fresh basil
1 quart chicken stock, low-sodium if possible
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
     (or four boneless skinless chicken thighs)

TO SERVE:
4 ounces Banh Pho or rice stick noodles, cooked to package directions
fresh Mung bean sprouts
torn basil leaves
cilantro leaves
sliced green onion
lime wedges
Sriracha Sauce

Before the stock is added to crockpot

Place the ginger, garlic, shallots, chili, star anise, coriander seed, cilantro, basil and chicken stock in the bowl of your slow cooker/crockpot. Stir. Nestle the chicken into the liquid. Cook on low 6-8 hours (all day).

Ready to stew all day

Use tongs to remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl and pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the solids and return the stock to the slow cooker.

Use two forks to shred the chicken. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker. Turn slow cooker to the WARM setting. Taste and add salt, if needed, to taste.

Cook noodles according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, assemble garnishes on a plate.

To accompany: basil leaves, lime wedges, cilantro, green onion and Mung bean sprouts

Noodles, chicken & broth

Place a few noodles in bottom of soup bowl. Ladle chicken and stock over. Serve, allowing diners to add their own toppings. Serves 4 easily.

Topped with Sriracha Sauce

recipe page        print recipe

Until my next update, I remain, your soupy correspondent.

RV PARK: The Motorcoach Country Club – The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.

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