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Healthy habits #1: Vegan tofu and tomato noodle soup

Vegan Vietnamese Winter Soup!

The days and nights are getting colder and colder in Hanoi! Down to 12C last weekend! For friends in public schools, that no doubt means standing at the front of the board wearing a great big winter coat, not quite what you picture when you move to South East Asia! What will warm you up again?? Vegan Vietnamese winter soup!!

I love yoga and I also love soup! Yes, yes, I do!

Soup is quick and easy to make from a small amount of fresh vegetables I almost always have in my house. Its vegan, it’s Vietnamese (inspired!) AND it’s super-fast to make after a long day of teaching, so perfect for these long winter nights. I hope you love it too.

Tofu tomato noodle soup
Soup is life



All-vegan ingredients – why are they so healthy and nutritious?

Tofu – full of protein after yoga; cheap and nutritious; anti-inflammatory.

Tomatoes – so fresh, so cheap; vitamin C, K and potassium; antioxidant.

Noodles – everyone needs a carb sometimes; soft and yummy.

Bok choy – selenium (reduce asthma effects, support thyroid functions and boost immune system); vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene; luscious crunchieness.

Salad – because I love salad; crunchy goodness; fibre, iron, folate, and vitamin C.

Procedure and equipment – why is this so easy to do?

All you need are: two hobs, a frying pan and a soup pan (plus a chopping board to cut up the veggies)

I make this in my tiny Vietnamese studio kitchen! It takes me 20 minutes!

Recipe – what do I do?!

Makes 1 big bowl of Vegan Vietnamese winter soup!

Soup base: 2 tbsp. cooking oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small chilli, 1 thumb of ginger, 300ml veggie stock, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp. tomato paste/puree.

Veggies: 100g cubed firm tofu, half a bok choy, 50g baby tomatoes, handful of coriander, 1 spring onion; some salad leaves and perilla leaves or mint.

Noodles: I use Vietnamese ‘bún’ noodles, but if these fresh noodles are not available to you, use whatever packet noodles you like and cook them according to the instructions. Bún are thin rice noodles like vermicelli.


Heat 1 tbsp. oil gently in your soup pan, add chopped garlic, ginger and chilli.

Cook for a couple of minutes, try not to burn them 😉 Add the tomato paste and turmeric, cook for one minute, then add in the tomatoes, stock and soy sauce. Option to add in extra salt and pepper, and nutritional yeast if you have some! Let the soup simmer.

In your frying pan, heat another tbsp. of oil and add the tofu, leave it alone until it is crispy THEN turn it. If you keep poking it, you will make a mess and end up with tofu scramble. Leave it be. 😉

Get out your soup bowl! Place your cooked noodles in there, then your salad, herbs (½ the coriander and perilla/mint) and the green end of the spring onion.

Nearly there!

Add you bok choy to the soup pan, ½ the coriander and the white end of the spring onion. Check your tofu is good to go, crispy on all sides (or at least two). Two minutes of simmering and turn it off.

Plate up!

Add the tofu to the bowl, then pour your soup and veggies over the top. Grab your chopsticks and soup spoon (and probably a tissue!) and get to slurping!

Tofu tomato noodle soup
I am grateful for each bowl I have the opportunity to taste



Why this soup?

I love this kind of soup and was introduced to it here in Hanoi as bún rieu, but in addition to there being limited veggie or vegan soup spots around the city, even in the capital, most soups don’t fill all of my criteria of enough tofu or veggies or salad. Getting more veggies in my soup is definitely something I want more of, and you can add pumpkin, carrot or mushrooms in this one too! So yum!

Where should I go out for healthy vegan soup in Hanoi?

My favourite vegan spot for this kind of soup in Hanoi is Com Pho Chay Tu Bi in Truc Bach. Super cheap, check it out! I recommend going there over ordering for takeaway, it’s a tiny place by the Japanese Eye Hospital, as they use polystyrene to package their deliveries.

Tu Bi, Truc Bach
Tu Bi, Truc Bach, photo from Google Maps

There’s also an AMAAAAZING one in Ha Dong, if you’re ever down that way. 40k and full of delightful things. Nhà hàng Tuệ Linh Chay. Another Buddhist place, it’s got a large and exciting menu of vegan things to try. I also highly recommend!

Com Chay Tue Linh
Com Chay Tue Linh, Ha Dong, photo from Google Maps

I am grateful for the numerous healthy soups available to me on cold days. What are you grateful for?

I’ve updated my gratitude workbook to include 30 days of practice with prompts and even more things to think about and I’d be honoured if you checked it out. Even more so if you return to me with feedback!

Comment below or send me a message! I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading this far. You are amazing.

Love and light

Lolli the Yogicorn

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