Malaysian Potato, Carrot, and Tomato Soup—Malaysia ABC Soup

Malaysian ABC Soup with Potato, Carrot, and Tomato in a bowl

The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 4 hrs 15 mins
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Yield: 5 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
484 Calories
14g Fat
43g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 484
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 176mg 59%
Sodium 283mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 24mg 122%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 1499mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A popular soup in Asian cuisines, this is called ABC soup because it is super easy to prepare—as simple as ABC. The other reason for the name is that it's filled with vitamins A, B, and C. The combination of carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes add to the healthy soup, while the chicken ensures it's full of flavor. Though it does take some time, it's simple, delicious, and excellent comfort food. This particular recipe is a Malaysian-style ABC soup, though it's not much different than those found in Chinese restaurants.

Soups generally taste nicer if you use a double boiler, a two-tiered soup pot with the bottom pot filled with water. The soup in the upper pot is steamed by the boiling water in the bottom pot. This gentler way of cooking soup releases the flavors from the ingredients gradually, and the result is a sweeter-tasting soup. If you do not have a double boiler, just simmer the soup on the lowest heat possible.

“This soup took a while to make, but it was worth it. Such simple ingredients on very low heat came together to produce a deeply satisfying soup. I had it for lunch one day when I wasn’t feeling so good, and it was genuinely comforting and satisfying, and it really did make me feel much better.” —Diana Andrews

Malaysian Potato, Carrot, and Tomato Soup, close up
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 pound bone-in chicken pieces

  • 4 cups water, more as needed

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 medium tomato, quartered

  • 1 medium onion, thickly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

  • 3 medium potatoes

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Malaysia ABC soup gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  2. Put the chicken pieces in a medium saucepan with just enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil. 

    Chicken pieces boiling in a pot of water

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  3. Drain the water. Rinse the chicken under water to get rid of any impurities.

    Boiled chicken rinsed in a colander

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Fill a double boiler or a medium soup pot with 4 cups of water. Add the prepared chicken, cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

    Chicken in a pot of water

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  5. Once the water boils, remove any impurities from the surface with a ladle. Adjust the heat to low.

    Removing impurities with a ladle from the boiling chicken

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  6. Add the carrot, tomato, onion, and peppercorn. Simmer on very low heat for 1 1/2 hours.

    Carrots, tomato, onion, and peppers added to the pot with the chicken

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  7. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add to the soup. Continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots and potatoes are tender, and still holding their shape, another 2 1/2 hours.

    Potatoes in a pot with water, chicken, and vegetables

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  8. Add salt, to taste, and serve.

    Malaysian Potato, Carrot, and Tomato soup in bowls with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

What Type of Potato Is Best for Soup?

When making a soup with potatoes, it's best to use varieties with a low to medium starch content. Yellow potatoes are a favorite, so look for varieties such as Yukon Gold at the grocery store.

Does Soup Need to Cool Before Refrigerating?

Whenever you have leftover soup, it's best to let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge. Hot soup can raise the temperature inside the refrigerator. This can compromise the taste and safety of the soup as well as your other foods. To cool soup more quickly, divide it into smaller bowls or place a large bowl in an ice water bath. Stirring the soup can also speed up the cooling process. Store the soup in an airtight container and enjoy within a few days, reheating it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.