Spicy Tomato Soup with Harissa and Farro

Spicy Tomato Soup with Harissa and Farro
Staff Writer
Spicy Tomato Soup with Harissa and Farro

Will Budiaman

Spicy Tomato Soup with Harissa and Farro

Harissa is a spicy Tunisian chile paste often used in North African cooking. Here, a milder version spices up a tomato soup made with fresh vegetable stock, and a good amount of farro is thrown in for good measure, making this a light, nutritious meal. If you don't have access to farro, pearled barley would make a decent substitute.

See all farro recipes.


For the vegetable stock

In a 4-quart pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, mushroom, leek, and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the water and remaining ingredients, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.

Once it reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced by ½, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard the solids.

For the harissa

Roast the bell pepper directly over a medium gas flame until charred all over, about 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and red pepper flakes and toast for about 15 seconds. Add the onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chop the bell pepper.

Add the bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the garlic, tomatoes, and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Carefully blend until smooth. Set aside.

For the soup

Soak the farro in a bowl of cold water for about 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to a pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine the vegetable stock, harissa, and crushed tomatoes in a pot. Heat through on high heat for about 5 minutes and stir in the farro. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot garnished with parsley.


*Note: For a slightly hotter harissa, omit the fresh tomatoes.


Calories per serving:

277 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Balanced, High Fiber Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 11g 17%
  • Carbs 42g 14%
  • Saturated 2g 8%
  • Fiber 9g 36%
  • Sugars 12g
  • Monounsaturated 7g
  • Polyunsaturated 2g
  • Protein 9g 17%
  • Sodium 280mg 12%
  • Calcium 128mg 13%
  • Magnesium 97mg 24%
  • Potassium 851mg 24%
  • Iron 5mg 29%
  • Zinc 2mg 12%
  • Phosphorus 217mg 31%
  • Vitamin A 178µg 20%
  • Vitamin C 56mg 93%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 19%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 12%
  • Niacin (B3) 5mg 23%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 26%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 69µg 17%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 4mg 21%
  • Vitamin K 80µg 100%
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