Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup with Halloumi Croutons + Green Harissa Recipe
A creamy, roasted tomato soup recipe made with yellow heirloom tomatoes and topped with a piquant green harissa and croutons of pan-fried halloumi cheese.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
For the Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup:
- 4 pounds yellow tomatoes, cut into large slices, (I used a mix of various heirloom varieties and cherry tomatoes)
- 8 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
- 1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon fine or kosher sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- a pinch of saffron threads, crumbled, (about 1/8 teaspoon)
For the Green Harissa:
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup cilantro leaves (soft stems ok), washed and spun dry
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves, washed and spun dry
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, washed and spun dry
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, stemmed, halved, and seeded, (more or less to taste)
- juice of 1 large lemon, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
For the Halloumi Croutons:
- 12-16 ounces halloumi cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee, for frying
Make the soup:
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.
Divide the prepared tomatoes, shallots, fennel, and garlic among two rimmed baking sheets, and sprinkle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the vegetables until they are golden and soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
Scrape the vegetables and their juices into a food processor, and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large soup pot and stir in the water, cream, saffron, and smoked paprika. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is thickened to your liking, about 20 minutes. Taste, adding more salt if you like. The flavors will continue to blend as the soup sits. It keeps well, cooled and refrigerated airtight, for up to 5 days.
Meanwhile, make the green harissa:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, cilantro, mint, parsley, chile, lemon juice, cumin, fennel, coriander and salt, and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream. Taste, adding more salt, lemon, or chile if you like. Scrape into a jar, cover, and chill until ready to use. The harissa will keep for up to a week or two, though it's brightest when freshly made.
Make the halloumi croutons:
When ready to serve the soup, heat a thin film of oil in a skillet set over a medium flame. Cut the halloumi into 1" chunks and add them to the hot pan. Cook until golden on the first side, 3-5 minutes, then turn and cook on a second side until golden.
Soup recipe adapted from Honey & Jam, Harissa from Sprouted Kitchen, who adapted it from Ashley Rodriquez in Food + Wine.
Yellow tomatoes make for a pretty, golden soup against a swirl of green harissa and bronzed halloumi, but feel free to use any color tomato here, such as red heirlooms, Romas, San Marzanos, or dry-farmed Early Girls.
The soup is good on its own should you lack the time to make the harissa and/or croutons. If a heatwave strikes, leave the soup cold and add a splash of sherry vinegar, and this soup becomes a creamy gazpacho.
For a vegan version, use coconut milk or cream in place of the heavy cream and make traditional croutons with cubed bread instead of halloumi.
Shallots vary in size and I never know how to quantify them.
Sometimes two big ones are attached; I count these as two separate
shallots. Mine were roughly the size of a golf ball or a little bigger.
Don't worry too much if you lack any of the spices called for here
(saffron, smoked paprika, fennel seed, cumin, or coriander). The soup will still be lovely if you need to leave any or all of them out.
The harissa recipe will make more than you'll need for the soup by about double; extra harissa is fabulous on nearly anything: sandwiches, quesadillas, grilled or roasted vegetables, fish or meats, eggs, or grain bowls.
Be careful when handling the chile for the harissa. Taste before adding it all if you are sensitive to spice, and wash your hands and under your nails thoroughly with soap and water after handling the cut chile lest it burn your skin.
Nutritional values are based on one of six servings.
Calories: 537kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 1283mg | Potassium: 1153mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1210IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 677mg | Iron: 3.1mg