At first look, one may assume Malaysian ABC soup has alphabet letters in it. So why’s it referred to as ABC? There are numerous explanations, together with one endearing dad joke about how the soup’s identify may discuss with the “anions, botatoes, and carrots.” However I believe the most certainly rationalization is that the ABC right here is all about how straightforward it’s to make—virtually as straightforward as opening a can of soup.
This easy hen and vegetable soup is usually the primary recipe dad and mom train their kids after they transfer out as younger adults, and it’s what households make after 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 like many variations made in Malaysian houses. One fixed is how easy the soup is, which is what I and many individuals I’ve talked to like about it. You’d should attempt actually exhausting to screw it up, making it a brilliant 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 chopping board, a knife, and a pot. There’s no deboning and no sautéing of aromatics. The important thing components—an entire hen carcass, hen thighs, onions, potatoes, and carrots—are accessible and inexpensive. Simply place all of the components 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—a number of key components 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 often 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 seek out carcasses on the market at Malaysian markets, however since they’re not as straightforward to return by within the U.S., this recipe requires utilizing a wide range of bone-in hen elements relying on what you have got out there. You would additionally use a picked carcass from a cooked hen or add some necks and backs to the combination. At the very least two thirds of the hen elements you employ must be meaty, whereas the remainder might be principally bones.
Together with the hen, the soup incorporates 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 every one the components 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 components moreover the hen, and whereas I’ve opted for onions, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes right here, you would simply make the soup with no matter you have got readily available, equivalent to tofu, broccoli, or cauliflower. (I’ve made my recipe additional easy through the use of equal quantities of the onions, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes.)