[food]* Essentially vegetable soup with just a hint of curry, this unexpectedly gorgeous dish has experienced a huge burst of popularity recently in its native Sapporo.
Soup curry is a thin, soup-like curry typically served with copious amounts of meat and vegetables. White meat is common and "traditional" soup curry uses chicken, carrots and peppers, but virtually all ingredients can be used in one combination or another. It is usually served with a side of rice.
Prices range from ¥1,000 (£7.40 / $11.60) to ¥1,500 (£11.10 / $17.40) on average.
In the 1970's Tatsujiri Muneo, the owner of a small cafe in Sapporo, came up with the idea of adding Indian curry to his family's Chinese-style traditional soup recipe. Although originally a plain recipe, at a customer's request Tatsujiri began adding "leftover" ingredients to the recipe - such as the chicken used in making dashi - giving rise to the version of soup curry we see today.
Despite being popular in and around his local area, it was not until 1993 that the name "soup curry" was conceived (before then it was "nutritional curry", "Sri Lankan curry", or various) and not until around 2002 that it experienced a huge boom in popularity, with over 200 soup curry speciality restaurants open in Sapporo alone.
Soup curry is found predominantly in Sapporo. Ajanta, the restaurant which invented it, is still open and doing excellent business, but I would recommend the restaurant / bar Garaku for a more up-to-date take on this dish.
2/F Minamisanjo 2-7
Getting there: 4 min. walk from Susukino Station (Nanboku Line)
I loved it! Think rich, delicious vegetable soup with just a hint of curry for a completely novel, exciting experience. And in the sense that it doesn't hesitate for a second in smashing past culinary tradition to create something new and wonderful - yes, I'd say it's completely Japanese there, too. I have to admit I don't get why it's served with rice, but still... ♥♥♥♥
Have you ever tried soup curry? Which one? What did you think? Avid cooks - anyone dare try and venture a recipe of your own? Send in an e-mail or comment below!