Pho (say: fuh), that mesmerizing Vietnamese beef soup, takes time. Even Nancie McDermott’s superb recipe in her “Quick & Easy Vietnamese” (Chronicle) — itself an express version — requires first making a broth with a pound of round steak.
So let’s get this out of the way: This is not authentic pho. (Hopefully you gathered that by the recipe’s name.) Rather, this quick soup is inspired by pho — and my own observation that one of my favorite teas, a rooibos (red herbal) chai, includes the very spices that create pho’s intoxicating broth: cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom.