ABC Soup – A Healthy and Hearty Recipe for the Whole Family

Published on: September 10, 2021

A popular soup among many Chinese families worldwide, ABC soup is packed with nutrients, and it is easy to make. 

By Chyi Lee

“Today Auntie cooked ABC soup for lunch — it was yummy!” uttered my almost 3-year-old daughter, when we had our usual evening chat after she got back from preschool. She had struggled with school refusal for the past few months, and had only recently started to open up to talk about school. This was the first time she had spoken about what she had eaten at school.

The ABC soup that she brought up is such a classic dish — it takes me back to my childhood; it is a comforting and familiar soup for many Chinese (including Southeast Asian Chinese) families, very tasty, healthy, and easy to make.

ABC Soup stands for vitamins A, B and C from the main ingredients of the soup — carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Many also argue that it is named ABC soup because making it is as easy as A-B-C.

Both are great reasons why it should become a regular dish on your menu at home. It is enjoyable for the whole family.

  • 500g chicken on the bone or pork rib
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, roughly cut
  • 1 corn on the cob (optional)
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
Blanch the meat

Put the chicken or pork in a pot with just enough water to cover it. Bring to the boil for about 5 minutes to get rid of excess scum and oil.

Remove the meat from the pot, and rinse in normal temperature water to get rid of any blood or impurities.

Cook the Soup

Fill the pot with 1 liter of water. Put in the prepared meat and bring to the boil over a medium heat.

Once the water boils, add the vegetables (carrot, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, and corn on the cob). Bring to a vigorous boil again, then lower the heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour.

The longer you simmer the soup, the more delicate the flavor becomes. You may like to transfer it to a slow cooker and cook it for even longer. Some would boil it for 2 hours until the tomatoes have broken down.  

Taste and Serve

When all the vegetables have softened and their flavors are well-blended into the soup, it is time to season with some salt and pepper.

Serve and enjoy!

This nutritious soup has a balanced flavor of sweetness from the carrot, sweet corn, and onion, a slight sourness from the tomatoes, and starchiness from the potatoes. At the same time, it is mild and soothing.

It is becoming a favorite childhood food for my little one, and I hope your family will enjoy it, too.

Photo courtesy of the author. 

About the Author

Chyi enjoys learning about others’ stories, writing, and sharing them widely. She and her husband have a mini blog on Facebook to share their parenting story, with highlights of the food that they prepare for their daughter:

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