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ABC Soup

ABC Soup

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Note: First posted in Jul 2009, now updated with new photos and improved recipe.

This Chinese pork ribs soup with vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, celery) is commonly known as “ABC soup” or “luo song tang” 罗宋汤 here.

See Also: Chinese Soups Recipes

I always wonder why it is called ABC soup since there are no pasta letters in it, and the main ingredients (typically potatoes and carrots) do not all start with the letters A, B and C. Check out the compilation of comments below which explain the origins of the soup name. I know the combination of ingredients is right when 10 minutes into simmering, the entire kitchen is filled with a wonderful soup aroma.

ABC Soup

Possible reasons for the name “ABC Soup” from readers’ comments, thanks for sharing!

  • @k (my fave!) “I read from somewhere that it’s called ABC soup because: A-nion, B-otato, C-arrot
  • @Steve Seto – “It’s called “ABC” because it’s popular with American Born Chinese. It’s a name given by native Chinese restaurant workers.
  • @Michelle ChewScientifically and logically, the name ‘ABC’ for this soup arises from the vitamins it provides: Vit A – Carrot, Vit B – Potato (Vit B6 in specific), Vit C – Tomato
  • @andy “A – Ang Mo Kio (Tomato), B – Bah Kut (pork ribs), C – Carrot”
  • My theory (to add on): “Making this soup is as easy as ABC!

Leave a Comment

75 Responses to “ABC Soup”

  1. luciano Annatone — March 15, 2013 @ 12:23 am

    I am going to try your ABC soup.I like all the info you are shaering . I thank you .
    I also have a question , I love diem Sum but can’t find a recipe can you help me.


    • floraldoll replied: — March 22nd, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

      Hi, where can I buy disposable soup pouch? Thanks.


  2. Bee — May 13, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Hi there, love this soup recipe.
    I noticed from the picture that you used Thermal magic pot to cook. I am looking around to buy a suitable one. For the above serving of 4 recipe, what is the best size?
    My parents have one 6 L but it’s too big for me and I remember if too big, it’s not effective in retaining the heat to cook.
    Is 4.5 L suitable or 3L? 3L seems a little bit full if include all the ingredients.



    • wiffy replied: — May 14th, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

      Hi, I am using the 4.5litres and it can cook for 2-6 persons. Personally I find 6L too big for my need (the SA told me that for this pot to be effective, it needs to be filled at least 1/2 to 3/4). So personally I chose the in-between option: 4.5L. Hope this helps.


  3. Amanda — October 13, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

    Hi, tried this recipe for the first time. its really easy! thanks bunch.


  4. Raymond — November 7, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

    Its actually call ABC is because its one of the easiest to make soup I’m already 40+ and i heard this even from my Grannies years so that’s make sense.


  5. Vion — February 24, 2014 @ 11:40 am

    Can i leave out the celery?? NTUC always sell one big bag which i seldom use…..


    • wiffy replied: — February 24th, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

      yes, can leave out the celery.


  6. Dawn — January 7, 2015 @ 1:08 am

    Can replace pork ribs with chix?


    • wiffy replied: — January 8th, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

      Yes, I often cook this with chicken.


      • Dawn replied: — January 12th, 2015 @ 10:30 am

        Thanks! So chicken meat/ thigh or needs some parts with bone?

        • wiffy replied: — January 12th, 2015 @ 11:06 am

          Preferably with bone so that the soup will be sweet. I personally use chicken drumsticks as they are easy to prepare and use for soup cooking.

  7. Weizen — January 11, 2015 @ 8:03 pm

    Can I cook this dish using slow cooker? Meaning let it remAin in slow cooker for 8 hours


    • wiffy replied: — January 12th, 2015 @ 11:05 am

      Yes you can. For best results, you can blanch the chicken first to get rid of the scum bits. Also use hot boiling water for the slow cooker so that it will boil faster.


      • weizen replied: — January 12th, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

        thanks! so i don’t have to bring it to a boil in a pot first right? I just dump everything and boiling water into the slow cooker?

        • wiffy replied: — January 12th, 2015 @ 3:26 pm

          I pre-boil the chicken for 5 minutes, rinse it to get rid of the scum. Then dump everything and boiling water into slow cooker. At least, that’s how I do it.

  8. Charlotte — December 22, 2015 @ 10:05 am

    Hi! is there a specific reason why the salt isnt added in the beginning? :) thank you!!


    • wiffy replied: — December 25th, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

      It’s always much better to season to taste at the very end, when the flavours are complete so you know how much to add :)



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