ABC Soup: The Ultimate Comfort Soup for Malaysians
ABC Soup, one of Malaysia’s most comforting soups found in Chinese eateries and homes across the nation. Despite its humble origins, this soup brings a sense of homeyness and nourishment with just a simple handful of ingredients.
One common theory on how ABC Soup got its name, is from the incredible nutritional value packed into its three key ingredients: carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Folks believe it’s because these ingredients are loaded with Vitamins A, B, and C respectively. Carrots keep our peepers sharp with Vitamin A, potatoes give us an energy boost with Vitamin B, and tomatoes bring a zing of Vitamin C. When combined, they create a flavour-packed concoction that’s as wholesome as it is delicious.
Another theory is that ABC Soup got its name because it’s as easy as ABC to whip up. With just a few simple ingredients, even kitchen newbies can master this comforting bowl of goodness.
Interestingly, ABC Soup is also known as “Luo Song Tang” in the Shanghainese dialect, which translates to “Russian Soup.” This connection suggests a possible link to the Ukrainian favorite, Borscht. Traditionally made with beetroots, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes, Borscht made its way to China during the October Revolution when Russian immigrants brought their Slavic food culture with them. Local adaptations of this “Russian Soup” soon emerged, blending with local flavors and available ingredients. During the Japanese occupation in northeastern China, Chinese and Russian communities sought refuge in Hong Kong, where Russian-inspired eateries began sprouting up. Notably, ABC Restaurant, a renowned Russian establishment established in 1951, added a dash of history to the enigmatic origins of ABC Soup.
While the true origin of ABC Soup remains a tantalizing mystery, its significance in Malaysian cuisine is indisputable. This humble soup, crafted from everyday ingredients, has become a comforting staple in Malaysian households. Whether you’re slurping it down at a bustling Chinese eatery or savouring it lovingly prepared at home, ABC Soup evokes feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and belonging.