One of my favorite dishes, that I've now started preparing at home, is pho (pronounced "fuh"), a hearty Vietnamese soup chock full of meat, noodles, and fresh veggies.
I like both the chicken and beef. I probably prefer beef, but when you've got a cold, nothing beats chicken pho...even old fashioned chicken noodle soup.
Here's how I make it:
I use the soup bases produced by Quoc Viet foods, sold at an Asian market here in Lafayette. If I'm doing chicken, I first boil some chicken (a pack of drumsticks works well) in a big pot of water with scallions and a nice hunk of ginger. You add the soup base and spice packet that comes with it and boil about 20 minutes. It's best if you actually let it simmer at least an hour, though. About 15 minutes prior to serving, you take out the spice packet and add noodles (flat Vietnamese noodles). Meanwhile, you cut up some lime halves, cilantro, mung bean sprouts, and jalapeno for garnish. When the soup is done, you serve it in a big-ass bowl, squeeze in the lime, and add the other garnishes to taste (I usually like a slice or two of jalapeno for spice. Eat with chopsticks and a big soup spoon. You might want to cut the meat off the bone after its cooked to ease eating.
If you've never had it before, seek out a Vietnamese restaurant in your area, or if you're a bit braver, cook up a batch yourself. You'll never go back to canned chicken soup again.