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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. Hi hi, tried this yesterday from Singapore… Found my soup lacks flavour. I added everything in the receipe ncluding tomatos. If the taste is too bland, what can i add? Or do i need to boil it longer to set the flavour in? I added quite a bit of salt and soya sauce. Should i add yellow beans and sweet corns? Or some stock? Sorry for the oob questions… :)

  2. From where I’m from, the term ABC quite often means (where food is concerned) ‘with the works’ – in other words, just chuck everything in…

  3. Love this!! A taste of home….

  4. I think it’s called ABC because it’s super easy to cook. But I also read somewhere that it’s a simplified version of the Luo Song Tang 罗宋汤. Either way it’s delicious and positively comforting!

  5. I used to add some cracked white peppers too. :)

  6. Love the simplicity of this soup…so healthy and so tasty…beautifully done.
    Hope you are having a great week :)

  7. interesting soup!!!!!

  8. Hi there, i enjoy reading your posts very much. Makes me very inspired to get started cooking simple meals! And the ABC soup has got to be my all time favourite soup :) Would like to ask, where can i purchase disposable soup pouches?
    Thank you in advance!

  9. Its call ABC soup because its A – Ang Mo Kio (Tomato)
    B – Bah Kut (pork ribs)
    C – Carrot

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