8 cups Vegetarian Vietnamese-Style Broth (see recipe)
1 pound rice noodles
One (8-ounce) package seitan (vegetarian product made from wheat gluten), drained
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1/4 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded Napa cabbage
1/2 cup tender greens, torn into bite-sized pieces; see cook’s notes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, roots trimmed, thinly sliced (both green and white parts)
Optional: 3 tablespoons chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 lime, cut into wedges
3 fresh red or green chili peppers, seeded and cut into fine rounds; see cook’s notes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Makes 6 servings. 1. Make broth (see recipe). When broth has been simmering for about 10 minutes, soak noodles as follows. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large pot. Remove from heat, add noodles, and let soak about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until noodles are pliable and easily separated. Drain noodles and divide them among six bowls. Simmer seitan in the broth until heated through, about 4 minutes. Remove seitan with slotted spoon and slice thinly into six portions. Add to noodles.
2. Assemble soup by placing bean sprouts, cabbage, greens, basil, cilantro, scallions and optional peanuts on top of the noodles and seitan. Ladle the hot broth onto the noodle mixture. Serve with a plate of lime wedges, chili rounds, and salt and pepper for individual seasoning.
Cook’s notes: Berkoff suggests using whatever tender greens look good at the market, such as fresh baby spinach, dandelion greens, romaine (remove the central stem) or Swiss chard. Use caution when working with fresh chilies. Upon completion, wash hands and work surface thoroughly and do NOT touch your face or eyes.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 166 (less than 3 percent from fat), protein 8 g, carbohydrates 32 g, fat 1 g (saturated 0.5 g), cholesterol 0.2 mg, sodium 850 mg, fiber 1.8 g