I was craving for the comfort that only a good glass of wine and a soothing bowl of brothy braised meat could provide me to combat the chilling effects of a late Fall Pacific Northwest drizzle. I couldn’t decide which to eat, so I made both: a batch of oxtail pho and a classic ‘pot au feu’, France’s version of a boiled beef dinner. I arranged all the ingredients on my counter and began cooking. I came to the quick realization that both were very similar; each dish featured meats being braised for long periods of time with similar spicing, the main difference seemed to be how each culture finished their dish. The Vietnamese serve with basil. mint, bean sprouts and rice noodles while the French with potatoes, cabbage and root vegetables. …
“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”
My poor wife was suffering through a terrible cold. The kind that pretends to go away for a day, fooling you into believing somehow you survived the worst. Then comes back with a debilitating vengeance that makes you wonder if it will ever end. I felt so sorry for her. She laid on the couch, snugly wrapped in two jackets, not noticing Beau bouncing next to her. Her chapped nose raw from constant blowing and rosy flushed cheeks. She whispered in a soft feeble voice, half begging for chicken soup. I made her a quick and easy Vietnamese chicken soup (chicken pho) to heal her and help forget her woes….