Harissa Tomato Soup with Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Croutons

Bowl of harissa tomato soup with pepper jack grilled cheese croutons

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This harissa tomato soup is slightly spicy and perfectly warming for the cooler fall weather! Red lentils make it a thick, hearty, high-protein soup. Pepper jack grilled cheese croutons make it good for your soul.


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For the Harissa Tomato Soup:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 3/4-1 cup dry red lentils
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Grilled Cheese Croutons:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 slices of your favorite whole grain or sourdough bread
  • 2-4 oz. pepper jack cheese, sliced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and harissa paste. Sauté until softened, stirring occasionally (about seven minutes).
  2. Add tomatoes, broth, red lentils, salt (adjust to taste -- if your broth is salty, you might not need as much additional salt), and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove soup from heat and allow to cool, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Pour soup into a high-speed blender and blend for about a minute, or until everything is super smooth. Pour soup back into soup pot and place over low heat, covered, to keep warm while you make the grilled cheese croutons.
  4. Heat a bit of olive oil or butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Butter one side each of two pieces of bread. Assemble the grilled cheese with the buttered sides facing out so that they are the sides touching the hot pan. Cook the grilled cheese in the pan until outsides are nicely browned and cheese is melted.
  5. Remove grilled cheese from heat and cut into cubes -- these are your grilled cheese croutons.
  6. Dish up tomato soup and sprinkle with croutons. If you're feeling crazy, maybe sprinkle on a few shred of pepper jack or some cilantro, or drizzle on a little more olive oil. YUM.

Keywords: harissa tomato soup, pepper jack grilled cheese