Easy Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup Recipe: Healthful & Flavorful

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine diving into a bowl of Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup, a dish that not only warms your stomach but also enchants your senses. This traditional soup, known as Canh Tan O in Vietnam, features the delicate, slightly sweet flavors of chrysanthemum greens, mingling beautifully with a clear, savory broth. It’s a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, especially revered for its health benefits and its gentle, comforting essence.

You’ll find that making this soup is as soothing as sipping it. With just a few fresh ingredients and simple steps, you can bring a touch of Vietnamese culinary tradition right into your kitchen. Whether you’re looking to expand your soup repertoire or simply want a light, nutritious meal, this chrysanthemum soup promises a delightful experience. Let’s explore how to create this exquisite dish that’s sure to impress both family and friends.

Ingredients

Ready to craft your very own Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup? Gather these fresh, vibrant ingredients to start your culinary adventure.

For the Soup Base

  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 200 grams of fresh chrysanthemum leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh Thai basil leaves (a handful)
  • 2 bird’s eye chilies, finely sliced (optional for extra heat)

Required Tools and Equipment

To ensure you’re fully prepared for making the Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup, it’s important to gather the right tools and equipment. Here’s a list of essential items you’ll need to successfully prepare and cook this aromatic and soothing soup.

Cooking Vessels

  • Large Pot: Choose a pot large enough to comfortably hold all the soup ingredients without overcrowding. A pot with a 6-quart capacity works well.
  • Ladle: You’ll need a ladle to stir the soup ingredients and to serve the finished dish.

Preparation Tools

  • Knife: A sharp chef’s knife is crucial for finely chopping the garlic, onion, and herbs.
  • Cutting Board: Opt for a large cutting board to provide plenty of space for prepping ingredients.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: This is useful for rinsing the bean sprouts and chrysanthemum leaves, ensuring they are clean and debris-free.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements of broth, fish sauce, and other ingredients are key to achieving the perfect flavor balance.
  • Serving Bowls: Prepare enough bowls for serving the soup piping hot.

Preparation Steps

Now that you have all your tools ready, let’s dive into preparing the flavorful Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup. Follow these steps to ensure each ingredient contributes perfectly to the dish.

Cleaning and Preparing the Herbs

  1. Begin with the chrysanthemum leaves – rinse them gently under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. It’s essential to handle these delicate herbs with care to avoid bruising.
  2. Next, shake off the excess water and pat the leaves dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
  3. Once dry, strip the leaves from the tougher stems. You can use your fingers for this process, as it allows for a gentler touch.
  4. Finally, roughly chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. They’re now ready to add a fresh, slightly bitter flavor and vibrant green color to your soup.
  1. Start with the chicken broth. If you’re using homemade broth, make sure it’s strained and clear of any bones or meat residues. For store-bought broth, simply measure the required volume into your large pot.
  2. Peel and finely dice the onion. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly they’ll dissolve into the broth, enhancing its flavor.
  3. Similarly, peel and mince the garlic. Fresh garlic will give a robust flavor that complements the subtle taste of the chrysanthemum leaves.
  4. Next, pour a little oil into the pot and heat it over medium. Once hot, add the diced onion and minced garlic, sautéing them until they’re translucent and fragrant.
  5. Pour in the prepared chicken broth and bring it to a gentle simmer. This forms the perfect base for your soup.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you’ve prepared your ingredients, you’re ready to delve into cooking this aromatic Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup. Follow these step-by-step instructions to bring all the flavors together perfectly.

Making the Broth

Begin by pouring the chicken broth into a large pot. Set your stove to medium heat and let the broth warm until it just starts to simmer. As it heats, skim off any foam that rises to the surface with a ladle or spoon. This step ensures the broth remains clear and free from impurities, enhancing the soup’s final appearance and taste.

Adding Herbs and Seasonings

Once your broth is simmering lightly, add the diced onion and minced garlic to the pot. Stir these into the broth, allowing the heat to soften them, which will take about 2-3 minutes. The onion and garlic will infuse the broth with a robust base flavor. Next, gently add the prepared chrysanthemum leaves and let them wilt for about 1-2 minutes, ensuring they retain their vibrant color and tender texture.

After the leaves have wilted, stir in the fish sauce for that quintessential umami flavor unique to Vietnamese cuisine. Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 5 minutes so that all the flavors meld beautifully. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer and avoid boiling, which can make the greens too soft and overpower the delicate flavors.

Assembling the Soup

Now that your broth is aromatic and the ingredients have simmered to perfection, it’s time to assemble the Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup. This step will bring all the elements together, enhancing the flavors and creating a harmonious blend.

Final Adjustments

Begin by tasting your broth. Depending on your preference, you may want to add a bit more fish sauce or a pinch of salt to intensify the umami and savory notes. Remember, the key is to balance the flavors without overpowering the delicate taste of the chrysanthemum leaves.

Adding The Chrysanthemum Leaves

Carefully place the chrysanthemum leaves into the simmering broth. Use a gentle hand to submerge them, ensuring they are evenly distributed. Allow the leaves to cook for about 3 minutes, just until they are wilted and vibrant in color. This short cooking time preserves their crisp texture and subtle bitterness, which contrasts beautifully with the rich broth.

Serving the Soup

Ladle the hot soup into bowls, making sure to include a generous helping of chrysanthemum leaves in each serving. The soup is best enjoyed immediately, as the leaves maintain their best texture and color when fresh.

Ensure each bowl has a perfect mix of broth, leaves, and seasonings. Serve the soup with a side of rice or crusty bread for a complete meal that sates and delights the palate. Enjoy the warmth and unique flavors of your Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup, made exactly to your taste.

Serving Suggestions

After you have masterfully simmered and assembled your Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup, it’s time to explore how best to serve this aromatic delight. Serving this soup is not just about plating but enhancing its enjoyment through complementary sides and presentation aesthetics. Here, explore a variety of ways to turn your soup into a hearty meal.

Pair With Rice or Bread

To soak up the flavorful broth, serve your Chrysanthemum Soup alongside a bowl of steaming jasmine rice or some freshly baked bread. The subtle sweetness and soft texture of jasmine rice make it an excellent companion, absorbing the savory broth without overpowering the delicate flavors of the chrysanthemum leaves. If you prefer bread, choose a lighter type like a baguette or ciabatta, toasted to add a crispy texture contrast.

Include Protein Options

For a more filling meal, consider adding slices of grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu to the soup. These proteins should be added just at the end of cooking to maintain their texture and flavor. Ensure each piece is well-seasoned to complement the soup’s natural zest.

Garnish for Freshness and Color

Enhance the visual appeal and the taste with some fresh garnishes. A sprinkle of chopped green onions, a few leaves of cilantro, or thin slices of red chili can make your dish visually vibrant and flavorfully dynamic. Not only do these garnishes add a punch of color, but they also introduce new textures and tastes that complement the soup’s base.

Serve Hot and Fresh

Always serve Chrysanthemum Soup hot. The warmth not only soothes but also helps release the essential oils in the chrysanthemum leaves, enhancing the aroma and flavor profiles of the dish. A clay pot or a heavy-bottomed soup pot can retain heat well, making them ideal for serving.

Consider Dietary Accommodations

If you are serving this soup at a gathering, include variations to accommodate different dietary needs. Offering a vegetarian version made with vegetable broth instead of chicken can cater to non-meat eaters, ensuring everyone can enjoy a version of this delightful soup.

Each bowl of Chrysanthemum Soup offers a chance to experience the nuances of Vietnamese cooking. With these serving suggestions, you can elevate the soup from a simple dish to a memorable meal that captivates all senses.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve discovered the delightful world of Vietnamese Chrysanthemum Soup you’re ready to bring a touch of Vietnamese cuisine into your kitchen. Whether you choose to stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations remember that the essence of this dish lies in its simplicity and the freshness of its ingredients. So go ahead gather your ingredients and enjoy the process of creating a comforting flavorful soup that’s as good for the body as it is for the soul. Don’t forget to share your culinary creation with friends and family—they’re sure to be impressed!

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