This unusual soup is assembled in individual bowls before serving.
8 ounces thick rice noodles or vermicelli
5 cups chicken broth (regular is best but you can use pareve if you are stuck)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
2 pods star anise (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound beef, sliced into strips (ask your butcher for a cut that is thin and not too tough)
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups bean sprouts
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
Prepare rice noodles or vermicelli according to package directions. In a large stock pot, combine chicken broth, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise (if using), salt, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and star anise pods.
In the meantime, sauté meat in oil over a medium-high heat until well browned.
Divide noodles among serving bowls (about 8). Do the same with the bean sprouts and the beef. Top with the broth, then add the jalapeno, basil ,cilantro and peanuts.