ABC Soup (Pork Ribs, Potato, Carrot, Onion)
Note: First posted in Jul 2009, now updated with new photos and improved recipe.
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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. I think every family who cooks Chinese soups in Singapore (and Malaysia) cook some form of ABC soup if you see potatoes, carrots, corn etc in their pot. You know the combination of ingredients is perfect when 10 minutes into simmering, the entire kitchen is filled with a wonderful soup aroma.
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 form the letters A, B and C. Check out the following fun compilation of readers’ comments which explain the origins of the soup name.
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 Chew “Scientifically 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!“