At first look, one would possibly assume Malaysian ABC soup has alphabet letters in it. So why’s it known as ABC? There are numerous explanations, together with one endearing dad joke about how the soup’s title may consult with the “anions, botatoes, and carrots.” However I believe the almost certainly clarification is that the ABC right here is all about how simple it’s to make—virtually as simple as opening a can of soup.
This easy hen and vegetable soup is usually the primary recipe mother and father educate their youngsters once they transfer out as younger adults, and it’s what households make once they’re exhausted or unwell and in determined want of a hearty meal they will virtually put together with their eyes closed. Every prepare dinner has their very own spin on this comforting dish, however the recipe under is very similar to many variations made in Malaysian properties. One fixed is how easy the soup is, which is what I and many individuals I’ve talked to like about it. You’d need to attempt actually exhausting to screw it up, making it an excellent low-pressure soup for newbie cooks.
What makes this soup really easy and comforting—and a go-to meal for a lot of—is that you just don’t want a lot to make it. It requires the barest minimal of kitchen instruments: a slicing board, a knife, and a pot. There’s no deboning and no sautéing of aromatics. The important thing substances—an entire hen carcass, hen thighs, onions, potatoes, and carrots—are accessible and inexpensive. Simply place all of the substances in a pot, cowl them with water, after which simmer the entire thing for 2 hours or so.
However that is no ho-hum hen soup—just a few key substances make for a soup that’s deeply flavorful and satisfying, with an ease to deliciousness ratio that is exhausting to beat. In Malaysia, the soup is usually made not simply with meaty bone-in hen, but in addition with an entire uncooked hen carcass, which lends wealthy oomph to the broth. It is quite common to search out carcasses on the market at Malaysian markets, however since they’re not as simple to return by within the U.S., this recipe requires utilizing a wide range of bone-in hen components relying on what you will have out there. You would additionally use a picked carcass from a cooked hen or add some necks and backs to the combo. No less than two thirds of the hen components you utilize must be meaty, whereas the remainder could be largely bones.
Together with the hen, the soup comprises onions, potatoes, and carrots, together with an entire head of garlic, which provides the soup a deep and savory taste. Tomatoes add a little bit tang and sweetness, complete white peppercorns present an earthy funk, and Chinese language celery lends a heady, herbaceous aroma that’s considerably stronger than common celery.
The most typical benchmark for what makes one thing ABC soup is that each one the substances go into the pot on the identical time and it isn’t fussed with till the very finish. There must be not more than 4 or 5 fundamental substances apart from the hen, and whereas I’ve opted for onions, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes right here, you could possibly simply make the soup with no matter you will have available, equivalent to tofu, broccoli, or cauliflower. (I’ve made my recipe further easy through the use of equal quantities of the onions, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes.)