ABC…

The other day, we had the ABC soup

Old Street Cafe's ABC soup

…here and we loved it so much!

Like what I said then, I had seen photos of it shared by blogger-mums and others but frankly, from the look of it, I did not think it was anything to get excited about. Of course, I did not know why it is thus called – I only knew of the other ABC, the air batu campur…and there came a whole lot of people telling me all about it. It seems that it is popularly known in Cantonese as lo song tong (羅宋湯), available in the menus at those Hong Kong franchise places over in the peninsula but nobody could explain the name.

One said that possibly, it was because one could add anything from A to Z and another said it was so easy to cook, as easy as ABC like this blogger here who also says it is the Chinese borscht soup. I went to look at some recipes and I saw one using beef and the person concerned grilled the slices of meat in butter first to brown it nicely before use. That reminded me of my late aunt’s soup – we used to enjoy hers very much and yes, I did try cooking it myself once a long time ago. It was very nice though it was not quite the same – you can click the link here to go and have a look at how I/she did it.

Maybe it is a Cantonese thing and Sibu being predominantly Foochow, we do not have it here…or not that I know of, at least. Well, seeing how it was so very nice, I decided to cook my own and I got these ingredients ready…

ABC soup, ingredients

– potatoes, tomatoes, carrot and Bombay onions. Other than those, I also crushed around a teaspoon of black pepper to add to the soup…

ABC soup, crushed pepper

I did not intend for it to be a meat soup so I just used the sides of the chicken parts that I bought, saving the drumsticks and thighs for something else on some other day. I only wanted to use it to make the stock and firstly, I grilled the pieces a bit in a non-stick pan, greased with butter…

Grill the chicken in butter

…and after that, I put them in a pot, filled it with water and turned on the heat. It started boiling soon enough but I just let it go on simmering. One recipe said that I would have to remove the “impurities” using a ladle but there wasn’t much of those flotsam and jetsam but still I did get rid of whatever little there was using a strainer.

After some time, I added everything…

All in

…and brought it back to boil and I let it go on simmering for quite a while before adding some salt according to taste.

Come lunchtime, I served the soup…

My ABC soup 1

…with a sprinkling of chopped spring onion from my garden.

It was very nice…

My ABC soup 2

…but not as nice as what we had at the shop. Maybe it was because we did not add any msg nor did I use any chicken stock or perhaps I would need to simmer it a lot longer. Never mind! We certainly did enjoy it so needless to say, I wouldn’t mind cooking it again sometime but perhaps, I could add more to it, say, some celery perhaps for the added taste and fragrance and I must remember to buy some daun sup (Chinese celery/parsley) the next time I cook this.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

10 thoughts on “ABC…”

  1. potatoes, tomatoes, carrot and Bombay onions…YUM!

    Yes, it was good. Hi, Jennifer! Nice to see you back here again. Hope all’s well with you. I did send you some coins a month or more back – I guess if you have not got them yet, it probably has gone astray. Mails, these days.

    1. Hi there! I did respond to your comments on my blog, too! So sorry I didn’t send you a note sooner! Yes! I received those coins! Thanks a million!!!! They are great!

      Aha!!! So they did get to you safely. Our local snail mail isn’t all that reliable at times…but sometimes, I do get some pleasant surprises. Glad you like the coins, you’re most welcome.

  2. Yeah, I love this soup. When I am lazy to cook, this pot of soup will settle everything. I guess the name derives from the hassel free and easy work.

    I guess so too…unlike the western-style alphabet soup, they have those letters of the alphabet in the soup.

  3. Yummy. Everything in one pot. So easy. But long time I didn’t cook it. I don’t add tomatoes in, soup supposed to be sweet and clear. I don’t use MSG in my cooking. Totally no MSG in my kitchen. So we only got the dose of it when dine outside.

    Yes, we do get to eat msg when eating out except at places like Payung – no msg in their cooking. There have been a few articles online though that say that there is nothing bad in msg but if it is sodium = salt, then it would be best to have less of it, not as much as in many Chinese restaurants – by the ladle!

  4. I seldom cook but when I do, I like to cook this ABC soup without any meat because it is easy to cook and it has lots of ingredients inside for me to eat. I add cabbage to it to for added sweetness as I don’t use msg and no meat. This one you cooked looks good but I believe it needs to be simmered longer. I like to simmer it until the carrots are all mushy.

    I was thinking of adding Chinese cabbage but decided to stick to the basics instead. Celery or leek would probably be good too. Yes, I think if I had simmered it longer till the tomatoes had gone all mushy, they would thicken the soup, the potatoes too but the one I had that day was not really great, not so rich and creamy.

  5. Shop have MSG mah… home boiled no MSG.

    Good to have this soup. Super hot weather here and hazy too

    It rained yesterday afternoon, so thankful but today it is hot and hazy again. Sighhh!!!

    Yes, I don’t have any msg in the house, otherwise I would not mind adding a pinch – a bit wouldn’t hurt, I’m sure plus we do not have to add it all the time, no need when what one is cooking tastes good enough. As long as we do not add as much as what I see them adding at the shops and restaurants – can faint at the sight!

  6. One of my favourite soups! My mom’s ABC soup has carrot, potato, corn and pork

    Yes, an ex-student of mine probably saw my post and cooked her own and she had sweet corn in hers. I am sure that was very nice.

  7. Love ABC soup. Normally chinese cooking works better with white pepper, black pepper is more suitable for western recipes. Also I think spring onion changes the flavour of the soup.

    Not really a fan of black pepper…or white actually but I saw it in some recipe that I googled. I love spring onions (and Chinese celery too) in clear Chinese soups though – I’ve an endless supply growing in my garden.

    My post sparked off a whole lot of friends cooking ABC soup and they shared their photos on Facebook. I noticed that they added sweet corn (on the cob, not the canned ones) – that would definitely bring the taste to a whole new level.

    P.s. Thanks for dropping by and for commenting. Do stuck around, cheers!!!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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