AFTER the two-month holiday season, most of us would want to take a break from feasting and fall back on some comfort food.
What makes us feel more at home than soup!
ABC soup is one of those dishes that is so easy to make that many parents teach their children to cook it from an early age.
It is also the go-to recipe for many students studying overseas where all the ingredients are quite cheap and readily available.
One of the reasons it is called ABC soup is because preparing it is as easy as ABC. Another reason is that it supposedly contains all the vitamins A (carrots), B (potatoes) and C (tomatoes).
Although some families customarily use green tomatoes in this soup to acquire a bit of tartness, I prefer ripe tomatoes because it makes the soup sweeter and adds a certain fragrance to it.
I have used ayam pencen, or spent hen, for this soup because of its superior flavour and ability to hold up to prolonged cooking.
Two chicken carcasses are added in for more meaty flavour in the soup. You may substitute with pork bones and ribs, the traditionally favoured meat for this dish.
Do not forget the white peppercorns, which I have added in whole. You may pound them coarsely but I find whole peppercorns are easier to pick out and discard.
For this simple soup, all the ingredients are cooked simultaneously. You may make a more refined preparation if you wish to boil the bones separately for the stock, then add the other ingredients after the broth is strained out.
But that may be a bit too complicated for a homely meal that you want to cosy up to on a rainy day.
2 chicken carcasses, cut into pieces
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
3 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 litres water
1 teaspoon white peppercorn
Salt to taste
Clean chicken of all innards and feather stubs. Wash vegetables and cut them all to about the same size.Place all ingredients into a pot and fill with cold water until it just covers all the chicken and vegetables.
Add whole peppercorns and about 1 teaspoon salt.
Simmer over medium heat for about 3 hours, or in pressure cooker for 1 hour.
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