Harissa Tomato Soup with Cheese Crisps
This soup is vibrant, colorful, healthy and tasty, and the cheese crisps as a garnish are so fun as dippers. It’s a little like our American favorite of tomato soup with grilled cheese, but without the carbs and adding a zesty African twist. It is comfort food that reminds you to live a little, to savor and enjoy life to its fullest.
My first taste of Harissa happened recently when I made my Harissa Moroccan Chicken with Roasted Peppers & Olives. The recipe used a powdered form of Harissa (recipe is in Ally’s cookbook). The dish wasn’t very spicy, but it was smoky and Mediterranean and very, very tasty. The chicken was delicious–I enjoyed it as chicken and added it to several salads too, but after I’d gobbled up all the chicken, I found I didn’t want to throw away the scrumptious sauce and roasted peppers and olives that were left. It was SO tasty — I couldn’t bear to waste it!
I thought to myself “this sauce would make a really good soup” … and so I set out making a soup from the leftover Harissa sauce. You will need to make the Harissa Chicken first in order to make this soup, but you’ll love both recipes. Personally, I loved being rewarded once again for making that oh-so-scrumptious Harissa Moroccan Chicken.
- 1 1/3 cups sauce/juice from Harissa Moroccan Chicken recipe (including olives & peppers ... recipe here)
- 1 pint canned tomatoes (or 1 15-oz. can of tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 teaspoon harissa
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup finely shredded white cheddar cheese.
- Shredded white cheddar or Italian blend of cheeses
- Put the leftover sauce/juice from the Harissa chicken (including some peppers and olives) into a blender along with the tomatoes. Blend until smooth.
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic along with the harissa. Cook and stir until the onion and celery are tender and the onion is translucent.
- Add the bay leaf and the blended tomato mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cheese and stir until the cheese is nicely melted.
- To make the cheese crisps: Make small piles of shredded cheese on a silicon baking mat. Set in the microwave and microwave on high for 1 - 3 minutes, watching carefully, until the cheese is very bubbly, a little brown on the edges and fully melted/bubbly in the center. Let cool for 5 minutes or so until the crisps remove easily from the mat.
- Serve the soup hot with cheese crisps on the side for dipping. If desired, sprinkle the soup bowls with extra harissa and garnish with fresh parsley or basil leaves.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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