Mom\'s ABC Soup
5 pieces pork shoulder blade bones
large in size, chopped by the butcher, just enough to fill a small bowl
2 L water
12 whole tomatoes
medium chop
1 whole carrots
chopped small
1 quarter cabbage
2 whole red onion
small-medium dice
1 stalk celery
including leaves, medium chop
1 half green bell pepper
medium chop
2 whole potatoes
cubed, optional
1 half jalapeño
5 slices ginger
thinly sliced then smashed
20 whole white peppercorns
crushed, add more for additional spice
2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
  • large soup pot with lid
  • colander
Being one with extreme sensitivity to medication, I had a horrible time with chemotherapy. The anti-pain and anti-nausea drugs didn’t work for me. My oncology nurse would tell me what a difficult patient I was with all my allergies. Chemo that typically took half a day would end up being a 12 hour affair for me. Needless to say, I was very selective with what I was willing to ingest. The only craving I had was my mom’s ABC soup. The tartness from tomatoes and the warm broth kept nausea at bay. I wasn’t keen on eating any fresh salads or fresh fruit so the soup was my only source of fiber and vegetables. I am grateful for my family for being there to support me through the toughest challenge in my life.
Put the pork in enough hot boiling water to cover it and cook for 3 minutes to separate the soft fat from the pork. Pour off the foam and rinse the pork under cold running water. Reserve the pork.
Prepare another pot of hot water.
Chop the tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, onion, celery, green pepper, and potatoes (if using) into cubes. For a spicy soup, dice the jalapeño, otherwise leave it out.
Put all the ingredients into the new pot of hot water and cook covered for 30 minutes over high heat. The water level should cover all the ingredients. Stir once in a while so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour. Stir once in a while.
To season before serving, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to the entire pot to start. Taste, then season with additional salt or soy sauce as needed.
Replace half of the tomatoes with green ones for a more sour flavor.

This soup's flavor improves over time. Time permitting, let the soup rest for a few hours then reheat it for another 30 minutes over low heat before serving.