An easy take on a classic Vietnamese comfort soup wth a ginger-scented broth and lots of satiny noodles. Fresh mint livens up the dish. Recipe can be easily be doubled. From this month's Chatelaine Magazine (February 2009).
Pour broth into large saucepan set over high heat. Add cinnamon, ginger, anise, sugar and chili-garlic sauce. Bring to a boil. Then simmer over medium-low until flavourful, 5 to 10 minute Remove and discard cinnamon, anise and ginger.
Meanwhile, cut tofu into cubes. Remove and discard shiitake stems. Slice mushrooms. Oil a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and tofu. Stir often until tofu is golden around edges, 5 minute Add to broth. (If using chicken, add now.) Bring to a boil, then stir in noodles, separating as you add. Boil gently, stirring often, until noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minute
Stir in onions and mint, then ladle into soup bowls. Top with bean sprouts and serve with lime wedges.