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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
See Also:

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. hmmnn.. this ABC soup looks like it would really be great eaten with rice.

  2. It’s called “ABC” because it’s popular with American Born Chinese. It’s a name given by native Chinese restaurant workers.

  3. This sounds really good with the anchovies in it – great flavors! :D

  4. Yeah, we drink these a lot while growing up. Healthy indeed!

  5. This is the first recipe my mum taught me when i first came over to australia years ago. I guess my mum have the same sentiments that making this soup is easy as ABC for someone like me living by myself, and having no prior knowledge to cooking. I now make this soup on a regular basis and sometimes add other stuff like tomato and cauliflower.

    • How sweet of your mum! You’re right, this soup is so easy to make even for beginners. I’ll try adding some cauliflower next time, it sounds like a nice addition to the soup :)

  6. this is one of my all-time favorite soups which is easy to make and delicious. my mum used to add just a piece of clove, star anise and little bit of cinnamon stick to get a stew flavor. pls send a hot bowl of yours over to me pls! :D

  7. Love this soup…reminds me of my childhood :-)

  8. I have the same bowl from Daiso! And the soup looks yummy. Maybe u can add in the meat also.

    • I have lots of stuff from Daiso hehe :oops: … you mean add in the meat to photograph? I was told my soup photos don’t look very nice with chunks of meat in them, haa

      Hows your new cam? Hope you’re having fun with it :-)

  9. i read from somewhere that it’s called ABC soup because:

  10. I luv this soup. It is indeed a very simple yet nutritious soup. The best part is it can be served as a 1-dish meal with the add-on of rice or pasta.

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