Unlike other Asian cuisines that use fatty sauces, this Vietnamese dish gets its flavor from fresh herbs and savory broth.
Soak vermicelli in boiling salted water until tender (5-10 minutes); drain and rinse. Place in cold water.
Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook until soft (1 minute), stirring frequently. Add anise, cloves, and nutmeg; stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add water and soy sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer. Partially cover.
Place garnishes in bowls. Add vegetables and tofu to soup; cover. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook until vegetables are tender (3-5 minutes). Drain noodles; stir into soup.