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chicken pho

I hope that everyone has enjoyed the first weekend of the New Year and welcome to the first Sunday Supper of 2015! If you’re anything like me and have been indulging yourself with rich food while ignoring the word exercise during the holidays, then you’re as excited as I am for today’s Sunday Supper. This weekend we’re featuring a host of different foods that are all light and far less guilty than the decadence of the holiday season. I know most people think that “lighter” and “healthier” means less flavor and texture, but the recipes that this week’s participants are sharing defy that misconception – food can be both light and delicious!

Best part is we’ve got pretty much every part of the day covered. We have recipes that are perfect if you want to start your day with a smoothie and brunch. Or if you want to prepare a lunch or dinner for your family, check out all the truly creative app, soup, and main meal recipes. (And don’t forget about dessert!)

#SundaySupper Links

Check out my recipe after today’s links, and be sure to join us at 7pm ET tonight for the #SundaySupper twitter chat!

Bright Beverages

Blissful Breakfast Items

Appetizing Starters

Savory Soups and Sides

Marvelous Mains

Delightful Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
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Chicken Pho Soup

chicken pho

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup composed of a broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and meat (normally either beef or chicken). I first had pho when I moved to the D.C. area, and instantly fell in love with it. Growing up I normally didn’t eat a lot of chicken noodle soup, but I really love the aromatics and flavors in pho. Pho broth has an amazing spiced smell to it, and coupled with the tender meat and fresh herbs it’s perfect for a cold winter day. I normally go for the beef pho, but when I want a lighter, leaner meal I go for some chicken pho, which is why I chose it for today’s recipe. I wanted to share with you some of my tricks to making a tasty soup that only takes a few hours to make. One thing I love to do when making pho is to roast the onion and garlic before adding them to the pot. It brings out a great flavor, and really fills up the kitchen with the smell of fresh ginger. Regardless of whether you’re making a stock for pho or any other type of soup, one important step is to parboil the bones. You may be asking what parboil means and what it does for the stock. Parboiling simply means that you flash boil the bones to release their impurities. The end result is you get a clearer stock that’s not as cloudy. Another important step to making pho is to skim the foamy white stuff off the top while its cooking. This is a natural part of the cooking process, and by removing it from the soup you end up with a clearer stock.

Gluten Free Chicken Pho Soup – A Lighter New Year #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 4 hours


  • 3 yellow onions
  • 5 inch ginger segment
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 4 lb uncooked chicken
  • 2 lb chicken necks
  • 20 cups water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1 lemongrass sprig
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 8 cloves
  • 20 cilantro sprigs
  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • 4 scallions
  • 10 cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 limes
  • 2 serrano chiles


  1. Turn the oven on broil. Place 2 onions and the ginger on a baking sheet, and broil for 20 minutes, flipping once at 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. Once room temperature, remove the outer layer of onion skin and peel the ginger. Slice the onions in half.
  2. Over medium heat, toast the seeds for about 4 minutes in a pan, then set aside.
  3. Use a heavy knife to crack the chicken neck bones in order to expose the marrow. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Cut the chicken wings from the chicken. Add the necks and wings to a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring the bones to a boil for 3 minutes. Drain the bones and rinse them with water to remove the impurities.
  4. Rinse the inside of the stockpot. Add the bones back to the stockpot, along with the chicken. Add the water, then bring the chicken to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer (about a 2 or 3 on the stove dial). Add the onion, ginger, salt, sauce, seeds, sugar, cloves, 20 cilantro sprigs to the pot. Crack the lemongrass in half and add to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any foam that comes to the top of the water.
  5. Remove the chicken and rinse it under cold water. Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Remove the meat from the carcass and set the meat aside. Add the carcass back to the soup pot and continue to simmer for another 2 hours. Skim any foam or oil that rises to the surface.
  6. Line a large colander with cheesecloth, the place the colander into a large pot or bowl. Drain the soup into the colander and discard the solids. Return the soup to the stove over low heat.
  7. Place the rice noodles into a large bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Cut up the chicken meat into pieces. Chop the cilantro, slice the scallions and onion into thin strips. Set the cilantro, scallions, and onion aside. Slice the limes into quarters, and slice the chiles. Set aside.
  8. Drain the noodles, then transfer them to the soup for 2 minutes. Distribute the noodles into soup bowls. Top the noodles with chicken, cilantro, scallions, onion. Fill each soup bowl with soup. Serve with the sprouts, chile, lime, and basil on the side as optional garnishes.


For the 2 lb chicken neck, you can normally get these from your local butcher.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe, and thank you for joining us this week!

  1. Stacy says:

    Love everything about this soup, T.R.! So aromatic and delicious and healthy! I’ll take spicy chicken pho over most other soups any day of the year but especially when it’s chilly out. So warming and comforting. Thank you for hosting this great event!

  2. Susan says:

    Thanks for being a great host this week T.R.! I just love pho and eat it almost on a weekly basis. I have a bunch of frozen homemade stock waiting to be made into a homemade version. You’ve motivated me to get of my butt and do so!

  3. Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen says:

    My daughter got me hooked on Pho when we lived in San Diego but, now that we moved to a small town in Washington, it is hard to find here. I am sooooo happy you shared this recipe so I can make my own at home!

  4. Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons says:

    I just tried a new restaurant the other night and had pho. It was sooo good, but it just made me want to make it at home, actually. It’s all about the aromatics in the broth, like you’ve demonstrated here.

    Thanks so much for hosting this week, T.R.!

  5. Ala says:

    I’m always amazed by folks who make pho at home, but I’m so glad you’ve shared this so I can make my own now, too 🙂 such a wonderful idea and recipe!

  6. The Ninja Baker says:

    Excellent way to serve chicken soup, TR. Great tip about roasting the onion and ginger. The soup must indeed be enhanced by the extra step =) Thank you for the wonderful recipe. And thank you so much for hosting a stellar #SundaySupper =)

  7. Mitchell says:

    Thak you for blogging. I take note from everything you post. You are such an amazing blogger. Love all your looks.GO 5INPNAHDUC! We all want another year!

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