Lamb Soup Curry

Soup curry is a local specialty of Hokkaido. This is a hearty version packed with lamb and chunky vegetables.

Lamb Soup Curry
Photographed by HIDETOSHI HARA

Recipe by
Shinya Ogino



Beans & Tofu




Calorie count is per serving.
Excludes time needed to refrigerate the lamb.

Ingredients (Serves 5-6)

  • 500 g lamb shoulder (4-5 mm slices; for barbecue)

    *Or lamb chuck.

  • [Curry paste]

    • 20 g ginger (thinly sliced)
    • 1 clove garlic (thinly sliced; large) (15 g)
    • 6 g curry powder
    • 2 g cumin (powder)

      *See notes.

    • 2 g coriander (powder)

      *See notes.

    • 1 g turmeric (powder)

      *See notes.

    • 15-20 g salt
    • 3 g pepper
    • 4 tsp olive oil
    • 50-100 ml water
  • 1 Japanese turnip
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 king oyster mushrooms (large)
  • 1 red paprika
  • 1 yellow paprika
  • 1 potato (large)

    *Preferably a May Queen.

  • 1/4 onion (thinly sliced along the grain)
  • 2 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

    *Paste is thicker and richer than tomato puree.

  • 250 ml white wine
  • 100 g chickpeas (canned or vacuum-cooked)
  • Cooked rice, as needed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper



Use a mixer to blend the [Curry paste] ingredients until smooth.


Rub the [Curry paste] into the lamb and refrigerate 8-10 hours.


Cut the unpeeled turnips lengthwise in half and then into 1 cm wide slices. Cut the zucchini into 3 cm rounds. Cut each king oyster mushroom into 3 equal pieces. Remove the stems and seeds from the paprika and cut into bite-size pieces. Peel the potato and place in a heat-resistant bowl. Fill the bowl halfway with water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave (600 W) for 8 minutes to soften the potato. Cut into large pieces.


Heat the vegetable oil in a pan placed over medium heat. Stir-fry the onions until evenly coated. Add the garlic, stir to coat in oil, and then add the tomato paste. Continue stir-frying until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan and stir in any brown bits until they dissolve.


Empty the [Curry paste] coated lamb into the pot and add 700 ml of water. Bring to a gentle boil and skim off the scum without removing the surface oil.


Add all vegetables except for the potatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat. Add the potatoes and chickpeas. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 2-3 more minutes and serve with rice.


The best way to eat soup curry is to mix the soup with rice.
[Spice notes]
Cumin: A highly aromatic spice used extensively in curries. It has a slightly bitter and hot taste. Commonly used in meat dishes and stews.
Turmeric: Treasured more for its distinctive yellow color than its fragrance or taste.
Coriander: Spice made from the dried seeds of the coriander (cilantro) plant. Has a sweet and mild fragrance with a slightly hot taste. Often used in legume dishes.