ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)
ABC Chinese Soup (using a Lobster Base Soup)
Traditional Chinese Name:
ABC湯 (ABC tāng). The easiest name in the Cantonese repertoire for ABC vegetable soup is 雜菜湯 (zá cài tāng), which literally translates to mixed vegetable soup.
This soup is warming in nature and sweet to taste.
To start, you can check out this video here where we explore this concept of “ABC” soup. There are as many iterations of this soup that you can permutate the number of vegetables you can find!
What makes this soup so special is I used the leftover water when I boiled 2 whole lobsters for another meal. Lobsters were on sale at the supermarket, thought it would be amazing to eat fresh lobster in the evening, so also decided to not waste the delicious seafood goodness and made a soup for dinner as well.
ABC soup is a traditional favourite in Chinese households and most recipes are hand down from generation to generation with their own variations!
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves: 6 bowls of soup
- 2 whole fresh lobsters (optional and to be used for another meal, we use the lobsters only for the soup base)
- 5 fresh chicken thighs
- 10 dried scallops
- 10 dried dragon eyes
- 2 fresh corn, quartered
- 1 fresh carrot, largely cubed
- 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
- 2 fresh potatoes, largely cubed
- In your soup pot, add in 4L of water and bring to a boil. Once that is boiling nicely, gently drop in the lobsters ensuring to cover and cook them quickly. Boil until the lobster is fully cooked, which is around 7-10 minutes for the first pound, and 2-3 minutes for each additional pound. I was using ~2 pound lobsters, so that’s around 12 minutes.
- Remove lobster from water and set the lobster aside. Preserve this water for the soup base. Turn this heat to a medium boil as we’ll begin to prepare the soup.
- In a shallow pan on medium heat, add in the chicken thighs and brown all the edges until crispy and brown. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked (as the soup will do it), but you want enough browning for flavour. You don’t need to add oil to the pan as the chicken thighs will render out its own oil.
- Once chicken is browned and crispy on all sides, remove from pan and add to your lobster water soup. Keep this on a medium boil for now.
- Prepare all your vegetables into similarly sized pieces.
- Add all the ingredients into your soup. This includes the vegetables and dried Chinese herbs.
- Boil on medium high for 30 minutes.
- Reduce to a low boil for another 2.5 hours.
- Serve and enjoy! No salt needed!