I wasn't going to make this. I really wasn't. I had the stomach flu last weekend and was still getting my tummy back to normal. Andrew wasn't excited about it. It called for a bunch of odd ingredients. ...I was just going to sit this one out. But then.....well, then I did make it. So...there.
I know you're all thinking, "Vietnamese soup?...Um...how is that French?" Well, actually France and Vietnam are pretty closely related and have been for hundreds of years. France actually ruled over Vietnam from 1887 to 1954. So, apparently there are quite a few Vietnamese restaurants in the France.
I'm going to be honest...this soup worried me. Scared me. Stressed me out. The ingredients were crazy. Star anise? (I HATE licorice) Dried red chili's? (I am NOT a spicy eater) Asian fish sauce? (.....Asian fish sauce?) And then there were odd directions like putting a bunch of stuff into cheesecloth and just letting it hang out in the soup for a while. ...Eh? Or adding the ingredient "2 dried red chili's".....but not explaining whether we were to dice them up, mince them, add them whole.....if they're whole do we take them out later? Do we take the cheesecloth thing out, too? ...Do we see why I was going to sit this week out?
But I really need to start trusting in Dorie. Because kids...she doesn't lead me astray. Sure, I completely ignored her when she told me to add star anise. I decided to add the dried chilies whole and then just take them out. I halved the whole recipe except for the amount of noodles (meaning my noodle soup was heavy on the noodle, light on the soup). BUT still....I trust you, Dorie. ...Mostly.
This soup was surprisingly easy to put together, even though I just whined about not understanding parts of it. It went very quickly (which was good since I didn't get home from work until 6). Also...this soup was surprisingly tasty. With all the changes I made, I have NO idea if it tastes the way Dorie meant for it to. But I dug it. Truly I did.
...Plus now, I have a whole jar of fish sauce in my fridge! So....bonus!