Silver Travel Cook Club - September 2020

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Silver Travel Cook ClubEmerald WaterwaysThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a recipe for Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, inspired by sponsor Emerald Waterways' Majestic Mekong holiday, which begins in Siem Reap and ends in Ho Chi Minh City, including a stunning voyage on the river itself.

And you could win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of Vietnamese Cooking Made Easy: Simple, Flavorful and Quick Meals.

Majestic Mekong - 15 Day River Cruise and Tour

Emerald Waterways' Majestic Mekong itineraryYour journey begins in Siem Reap, where early mornings and ancient architecture promise to be the perfect combination. Angkor Wat is sure to fascinate, as is Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.

Then begin your journey along the majestic Mekong River on board the magnificent Emerald Harmony Star-Ship. Discover Phnom Penh and visit a family-owned silk-producing factory, and attend a scarf-weaving workshop in Long Khanh Island.

Vibrant Ho Chi Minh City beckons for a two-night stay, where you will uncover the Cu Chi Tunnels and enjoy an insightful included city tour.

Emerald Harmony - Mekong River
Angkor Wat

Departure dates and pricing:

Emerald Waterways 2021 and 2022 Vietnam, Cambodia & Mekong River Cruising collection is now on sale, along with a fantastic launch offer.

Enjoy generous savings of up to £1,500 per couple, plus enjoy unlimited on board drinks during your time on board Emerald Harmony, courtesy of a free Premium Drinks Package.

What’s more, choose to pay your holiday balance in full by 31 October 2020 and receive an additional £200 per person Early Payment Discount.

From £2,945 per person, departing 19 May 2021 (price includes all relevant discounts).

Terms and conditions apply.

Recipe: Pho - Vietnamese chicken noodle soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots - sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves - sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk - chopped
  • 2.5cm piece ginger - sliced
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 3 large chicken breasts
For serving:
  • 500g rice noodles
  • 4 spring onions - sliced
  • 1 carrot - shredded or thinly sliced
  • 150g mung bean sprouts
  • bunch coriander - chopped
  • small bunch mint leaves - chopped
  • 1 red chilli - thinly sliced
  • 1 fried shallot
  • 1 lime - cut into wedges


Chicken Pho by Guilhem Vellut from Paris, France / CC BYHeat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and cook the shallots and garlic for 5 minutes or until caramelised and golden brown.

Using a large pan, add the caramelised shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, Chinese five-spice, peppercorns, sugar, fish sauce, chicken stock and chicken breasts. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

Whilst chicken is simmering, cook the noodles until just cooked. Rinse under cold water to cool and stop them sticking together. Drain and divide between serving bowls.

Strain the soup through a sieve and discard the spices. Shred the chicken and keep to one side. Return soup to the pan and bring to the boil. Season to taste.

To serve, ladle piping hot soup into bowls of noodles and chicken, and top with the spring onion, carrot, bean sprouts, and herbs, chilli and the crispy shallots. Finally, serve with a lime wedge.

Authentic and truly tasty!

Emerald Waterways goodie bagWin Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of Vietnamese Cooking Made EasyHow to win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of Vietnamese Cooking Made Easy

Soups are wonderfully warming in winter and suitably chilly when they are eaten cold in the summer. And sometimes, when travelling, quite unexpected in flavour and texture.

Tell us about your favourite soup, where you’ve eaten it and just what makes it so special.  The best entry will win a copy of Vietnamese Cooking Made Easy.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 28 Comment(s)

  • ESW
    11 months ago
    A neighbour has a glut of tomatoes and brought round two big bags for me yesterday. I have been busy making them into soup - nothing clever, just frying some garlic in butter, throwing in all the tomatoes and a bit of water and boiling until soft. They then go through mother in law's mouli sieve which must be 75 years old now, but indestructable.

    It tastes so much nicer than any of the packets or tins.
  • ESW
    11 months ago
    Homemade soups are great and you don't really need a recipe... Vegetable soups are a great way to use up veg that have been forgotten and a bit past their best.

    One of my favourite soups is lentil, made from the stock from boiling a gammon joint before glazing and roasting. I always leave the lentils to soak over night before boiling up. Michael was always a great one for sampling everything going in the kitchen. He made the mistake of sampling the cold raw soup - never again!
  • DRSask
    11 months ago
    I love soup and make it often in the fall and winter months. My favourite is probably leek and potato. Not only is it a staple for me to make, it's also one I often have when out. If it's on the menu I can't resist it. An especially good one I had a couple of years ago was at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm in Northumberland. It was delicious, as was everything we had there. Also the Union Block Bakery in Dresden, Ontario makes a mean leek and potato soup! I look forward to being able to go again when the restrictions are lifted. Until then I'll just have to make my own.