If you are a fan of pho and its complex licorice-y broth, you would enjoy giving this quickly-assembled soup a try. I like the bacon a little more tender and wilty than crisp in this case; if you like it crisp you should cook it as directed, then remove the bacon before adding the onions, and add the bacon back into the bowls right at the end when serving the soup.
Star Anise Bacon Soup
1-2 tbsp. butter (I used unsalted Kerrygold)
12 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces (I used kitchen shears to shortcut this)
1/2 - 1 c. onions (I used leeks and shallots here)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 bag cole slaw veggie mix (just shredded cabbage and carrots - no dressing!)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
5-6 dried star anise stars (mine came from the local international grocery store; see collage pic above)
2 c. or more other vegetables (I used 1 zucchini and 1 box of mushrooms here)
3 c. water
Salt or tamari to taste, if desired
To a large soup pot on high heat, add butter, bacon, onions, garlic powder, and ginger. Stir continuously until onions sizzle and turn translucent. Add cole slaw mix, black pepper, star anise stars, and continue to stir for about 2 more minutes. Add water and other vegetables, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Pick out star anise stars, and serve hot.
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