Phun with Pho

A Paleo version of ethnic noodle soup

Pho is the traditional meat, broth and noodle soup of Vietnam. It’s pronounced “FUH”. A silly name for a serious soup.

I’m not a picky eater but I used to really dislike broth-based soups and refused to eat them. Then I learned how healthy broth is for you. Not just any broth, but broth made from stewed animal bones.

You can learn to make bone broth here.

There are a million benefits of broth. It is good for skin and wrinkles, cellulite, teeth, intestinal health, remineralizing your body, healing adrenals and soothing the soul.

Inspired by all the health benefits, I’ve become quite an adept soup maker as we move into winter. 

I’ve been making lots of pureed broth and veggie soups with spices and coconut milk (like carrot &parsnips or eggplant or squash) which kinda hides the taste of the broth.

But yesterday I took my soup making challenge to a whole new level.

I made a soup that’s main feature was it’s spicy, tangy broth and I LOVED IT. I could not get enough of this broth that is full of vitamin C-rich lime juice and inflammation fighting hot peppers.

I should call this immunity soup because of it’s mix of broth and easy to digest, nutritious spices and veggies and meat. Replace your chicken soup with this baby and you might not get sick this winter. 

I replaced the rice noodles with zucchini noodles (made using a spiralizer) and added bok choy, which is not a traditional Pho veggie, but went so well.

This is my grain-free version of a gut-healing, health boosting soup that will impress your friends, family and taste buds with it’s rich, ethnic flavors.

The secret to this dish is the lime juice, basil and fish sauce, which cuts the bland fattiness of the broth and makes it come alive and jump off your spoon with flavor.

Previously I  brought you my recipe for  “What the Kale?”

Now I bring you …

What the Pho?



3 zucchinis cut into noodle shapes with a spiralizer. You can also use kelp noodles or spaghetti squash

3 cups of meat broth (add more or less if your soups to be more or less brothy)

2 limes juiced

1 tablespoon of fish sauce (I use Red Boat brand without sugar or chemicals)

1 pound of grass fed skirt steak, sauteed with coconut aminos and diced Serrano chili peppers.

Half a bunch of cilantro

3 stalks of baby bok choy, diced

1 carrot, sliced

salt and cayenne pepper to taste

5 leaves of fresh basil, diced

Also optional: are garlic and onions, sauteed in olive oil as a base for the soup. I did not use any because my husband can’t eat either right now.

How to

If you are using garlic and onions saute those first in olive oil and then add zucchini noodles. and saute for a few minutes, stirring. Add salt and cayenne.

Add broth and fish sauce and cook for 5 minutes.

Add in lime juice, bok choy, carrots and keep boiling.

Saute sliced skirt steak in a separate pan with a little bit of olive oil, fresh basil, a splash of coconut aminos and sliced Serrano pepper (or any other type of pepper will do).

Don’t overcook the meat, it will cook further in the broth. Simply brown the outside so the meat remains pink in the middle. Simply cook on high heat for a minute or two.

Combine the meat into the soup and throw in the cilantro and boil for 5 more minutes.

Ladle into your bowl and serve. Some people like to serve this soup with fresh bean sprouts, but it’s super delicious without.


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