Comfort food is a bowl of steaming hot soup, from chicken pho to rice porridge
1 of 12Annabelle Breakey, food styling by Robyn Valarik
Quick Chicken Pho
Combine moist chicken and rich broth, and you’ve got a rich yet satisfying bowl of pho. Fresh cilantro, jalapeño, and bean sprouts add color, flavor, and texture with little effort.
2 of 12Thomas J. Story
Pressure Cooker Chicken Pho
Pho master Andrea Nguyen loves her 6-qt. Fagor Duo pressure cooker ($67; ). “It’s not too expensive, and it’s easy to use—no jiggling valves or dials.” That said, you can also make this recipe in a stockpot; just allow more time. If you’re serving more than four people, recruit some helpers to put together the bowls, assembly-line style, so the soup doesn’t get cold.
3 of 12Leigh Beisch
Asian Greens and Tofu Soup
Combine dark green vegetables and tofu for a soup that’s full of nutrients. For fun, load the soup pot with any of your personal favorite leaves.
4 of 12Annabelle Breakey
Japanese-Style One-Pot Supper
This Asian one-pot wonder is a mix of tofu, meat, and vegetables—all cooked in the same, flavorful broth. Top if off with a tiny Sriracha squeeze.
5 of 12Annabelle Breakey
Sweet and Sour Shrimp Soup (Canh Chua Tôm)
Restaurant owner and cookbook author Mai Pham shares her recipe for a traditional Vietnamese fish soup. This spicy bowl offers just the right balance for your taste buds.
6 of 12Annabelle Breakey
Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)
Nothing speaks to our stomachs quite like traditional beef pho, and this basil-filled version hits all the right spots.
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 star anise pods (or 2 tsp. pieces) or 1 tsp. anise seeds
1 cinnamon stick (3 in. long)
1 1/2 lbs. boned beef chuck, fat trimmed
2 1/2 qts. beef broth
About 1/4 cup Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
2 cups bean sprouts (5 to 6 oz.), rinsed
1/4 cup very thinly sliced red or green chiles, such as Thai, serrano, or jalapeño
1/2 cup Thai or small regular basil leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3 limes, cut into wedges
1/2 lb. boned beef sirloin steak, fat trimmed and very thinly sliced
6 cups cooked rice noodles
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
Hoisin sauce and Asian red chili paste or sauce (optional)
1. Wrap ginger, shallots, star anise, and cinnamon stick in two layers of cheesecloth (about 17 in. square); tie with heavy cotton string. Combine beef chuck, broth, 2 1/2 qts. water, 1/4 cup fish sauce, sugar, and spice bundle in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; uncover, reduce heat, and simmer until beef is tender when pierced, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
2. Transfer meat to a board with a slotted spoon. Remove and discard spice bundle. Skim and discard fat from broth. Add salt and more fish sauce to taste. Return broth to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, arrange bean sprouts, sliced chiles, basil, cilantro, and lime wedges on a platter. When beef chuck is cool enough to handle, thinly slice across the grain.
4. Immerse sliced sirloin in simmering broth (use a wire basket or strainer, if available) and cook just until brown on the outside but still pink in the center, 30 seconds to 1 minute; lift out (with basket or a slotted spoon).
5. Mound hot noodles in deep bowls (at least 3-cup capacity). Top with beef chuck, sirloin, and onions. Ladle broth over portions to cover generously.
6. Serve with platter of accompaniments and hoisin sauce and chili paste (if using) to add to taste.
7 of 12Annabelle Breakey
Ramen with Ginger Roasted Squash and Crispy Pork Belly
Chef Kolin Vazzoler uses pork, chicken, fresh vegetables, and dried mushrooms for a broth that simmers for 12 hours. This simplified version of his includes toppings, like brined pork belly, for an over-the-top bowl.
8 of 12Annabelle Breakey, food styling by Karen Shinto
Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
Give new life to leftover chicken and rice with this simple Thai soup. Fried shallots sprinkled on top of each bowl elegantly elevate this bowl.
9 of 12David Prince
Chinese Hot-and-Sour Soup
Our recipe is milder than you’ll find in most restaurants, so add a dash of hot sauce or white pepper if you’re looking for more heat.
10 of 12Thomas J. Story
Seattle chef Eric Banh’s recipe for congee is so delicious, we just had to include it. This soupy porridge is typically eaten for breakfast in Vietnam, but it’s great any time of day.
11 of 12Iain Bagwell
Miso Seafood Stew
Fragrant with ginger and loaded with seafood, this light yet flavorful stew is best paired with a chilled beer.
12 of 12Iain Bagwell
Beef and Star Anise Noodle Soup
This soup was a Test Kitchen favorite from the very first sip. Marinated short ribs are the secret to this deeply rich broth.