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Recipe Food Literacy Center
Pho Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup

A student wrote a letter to our founder. She requested a cooking lesson on pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup. At the time, we were developing our lesson on salt, and this was the perfect idea to compliment our lesson! This soup, inspired by our student, is served in a richly flavored homemade pho broth that is poured over noodles. Kids add their own toppings to build the perfect bowl of noodle soup.

Full Curriculum, Lesson Plans, Videos & More

Noodle Soup

Yield: 10 servings of 2 cups
Printable Recipe: Noodle Soup
Printable Recipe: Pho Soup Spice Packet
Video of the Recipe


  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 onion, halved and peeled
  • 4 stalks lemongrass
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
  • 2 carrots, cut in half
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 Pho Soup Spice Packet (recipe below)
  • 10 packages dried ramen or rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce

Possible Garnishes

  • Green onion
  • Shredded carrot
  • Cilantro
  • Bean sprouts
  • Basil

Instructions for Adults

  • In an 8-quart stock pot, bring water to a boil. Control heat and tend to the pot. Assist kids with stirring the pot.
  • Place onion, lemongrass, and ginger in a dry pan over medium-high heat to char for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown on all sides.
  • In a smaller pot, bring water to a boil. Open ramen packages, discard the seasoning packet and place noodles in the pot. Let it boil and wait for noodles to soften up. Using a strainer, drain water over the sink and sit it in cold water until ready to serve.

Instructions for Kids

  • Add charred onion, lemongrass, ginger to the pot of boiling water along with the dried mushrooms and carrots. Add the spice packet. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out and discard the spice packet and vegetables from the broth. Add the soy sauce to taste.  
  • Using a set of tongs, place 1 cup of cooked ramen noodles in a serving bowl. Ladle 2 cups of broth over the noodles. Add any garnish you desire. Serve and enjoy!
  • Leftover broth can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a week or frozen for a month.


Pho Soup Spice Packet

Yield: 1 packet makes 5 quarts broth when added to water


  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise pods    
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 pieces of licorice bark
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed


  • Tea bag or cheesecloth
  • Kitchen twine

Instructions for Adults

Assist where needed.

Instructions for Kids

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Place spice mixture in a tea bag or piece of cheesecloth and tie shut with kitchen twine.
  • Store in a cool, dry place. The seasoning will keep for several weeks.


Hello! We hope you made and enjoyed this recipe from our Your Sandwich Can Save the World! Food Literacy Curriculum! Please note that all photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Noodle Soup on Food Literacy Center’s website. Thank you!

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