Simple but nutritious, this ABC soup is the ultimate Chinese comfort soup. Guaranteed to warm you from the inside out, this hearty soup comes together in a few easy steps with only a handful of budget-friendly ingredients. Make a big batch and enjoy it throughout the week!
This ABC soup is a childhood favorite that my mom would make often. It’s a recipe that you can stretch out and doesn’t cost a ton to make (at least back then when pork cost less). Honestly, it truly impresses me now, looking back, how my mom was able to make such nutritious and delicious meals on a tight budget.
The name ABC soup is an odd one. Growing up, we simply called it 番茄薯仔胡蘿蔔湯 which literally translates to “tomato, potato, carrot soup.” It wasn’t until I was grown up that I heard it referenced as ABC soup. Some think that it’s called ABC soup because “it’s as easy as ABC!” while others believe it’s because the soup is full of Vitamins A, B, and C. Regardless of its name, this is the soup I like to make when I miss home and my mom.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s extremely easy to make this Chinese ABC soup. You simply simmer everything together and you’ve got a soup.
- The ingredients are pretty budget-friendly. Plus, serving it with rice makes the soup even more filling.
- Maybe it’s the nostalgia, but this soup is honestly one of the tastiest soups. I love the tangy notes you get from the tomatoes.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- pork — I’ve made this with pretty much most cuts of pork. It all works for this soup! I’ve been lucky to find pork shoulder on sale, so it’s what I use. If you’re not a fan of pork, not to worry, you can use chicken as well!
- canned tomatoes — this might be controversial because my mom didn’t use canned tomatoes, but I personally love using canned peeled tomatoes. The tomato liquid that’s packed with the tomatoes adds so much flavor to the soup!
- carrots — carrots add a wonderful sweetness to the soup.
- potatoes — feel free to use what you have on hand. I used both russet and gold potatoes. I find russets break down a bit more, whereas the gold potatoes keep their shape better, so it depends on the end texture that you’re a fan of.
- corn — when there’s fresh corn on the cob on sale during the summer, that’s when I make this soup the most! It’s so cheap and adds a wonderful layer of flavor to the soup. You can always add some frozen or canned corn if that’s what you have on hand. I’ve added a drained can of corn in my ABC soup when corn wasn’t in season.
- onion — again, use what you have on hand! I had a yellow onion that needed to be used, so that’s what I used. Although, I haven’t tried this with red onion. Let me know if you’ve tried that!
- garlic — the more, the merrier!
- salt — just a pinch.
How to Make ABC Soup
- Add the pork to a large pot of water and bring it up to a simmer to blanch the pork for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes with the liquid, carrots, and potatoes to another extra large pot.
- Add the corn on the cobs, onion, and garlic to the pot.
- Add 8 cups of water and salt to the pot. Bring the pot up to a boil while waiting for the pork to blanch.
- After 10 to 15 minutes, there will be a layer of foam over the top of the water the pork’s in.
- Remove the pork, discard the water, and rinse the pork if there’s foam on them.
- Transfer the pork to the pot with the vegetables.
- Partially cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer the soup for an hour and a half. The soup should reduce down by an inch by the time it’s done.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- If I really want to stretch this soup out, I add a couple of extra cups of water and a pork bouillon cube.
- You can serve the soup immediately or leave it simmering on low with the lid fully on until dinner time. I’ve simmered the soup for up to 2 hours before.
- I usually serve this soup with jasmine rice.
- This recipe is very forgiving. You can add more or less of each vegetable and the soup will still come out delicious!
- You want to make sure the soup is simmering gently. If you boil everything for an hour and a half, the meat will be tough and the vegetables will disintegrate.
- If more foam forms over the soup as it simmers, you can use a spoon to scoop it out.
- I don’t usually stir my soup as it simmers, but I’m using a pretty large dutch oven, so there’s a lot of space for everything.
- Make sure the water is covering at least 90% of the ingredients. If not, you’ll want to add extra water.
Make Ahead Tips
- Meal prep: once cooled, store the soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Freezer: allow the soup to cool and remove the potatoes. The potatoes won’t keep well, unfortunately. Transfer the into an airtight container before storing the leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You sure can! You will have to blanch the pork first before adding everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- 1 to 1.2 pounds pork butt, cut into 4 or 5 chunks (or cut of meat of your choice)
- 1 can peeled tomatoes, (796mL)
- 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cut in half (russets or Yukon golds)
- 3 corn on the cob, cut in half or thirds
- 1 onion, cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- large pot
- Add the pork to a large pot of water and bring it up to a simmer to blanch it for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes with the liquid, carrots, potatoes, corn, onion, garlic, salt, and water to an extra-large pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil.
- After 10 to 15 minutes, there will be a layer of foam over the top of the water the pork’s in. Remove the pork, discard the water, and rinse the pork if there’s foam on them.
- Transfer the pork to the pot with the vegetables. Partially cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer the soup for an hour and a half. The soup should reduce down by an inch by the time it’s done.
- The recipe serves 6 to 7, depending on the serving size (side dish vs main).
Nutrition Per Serving
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)
- Pork Belly and Kimchi Tofu Stew
- Beef and Tomato Soup
- White Stew
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup