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ABC Soup (Pork Ribs, Potato, Carrot, Onion)

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. 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.

Similar Recipe:
Chicken "ABC" Soup Recipe
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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.

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!

76 comments on “ABC Soup (Pork Ribs, Potato, Carrot, Onion)”

  1. What a coincidence, I plan to cook this tmr! Felt like something really healthy after eating so much for the past few weeks.

  2. Very interesting name ABC for a soup…for its vitamins or for the easy to make it!

    A flavorful and healthy soup, just perfect in a cold winter I’ve right now :lol:



  3. A nice soup and also healthy :)

  4. this ABC soup is alos one of my favourite soup too!! yummy and healthy!!

  5. I used to cook ABC soup too, but with different kind of combination, like tomatoes, pearl corn,…

  6. Maybe cos’ the soup is as easy as ABC lah! Hahhaha

  7. Maybe its suppose to be as easy as ABC to make this soup that’s why its called so.

  8. Sometimes, simple is best. The soup looks beautiful – clear and light. I also add alphabet pasta when I make this for my children. It becomes a one-dish meal, and I can understand why THAT is called ABC soup! LOL.

  9. Your broth looks great, and I love the chunks of vegetables in the soup!

  10. I’ve never tried it before, but you had me at “short and pretty effortless”. :D Looks great!

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