Tomato Harissa Coconut Bisque

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s spring break already.  And friends–I’m in London!  WHAT?!?  I’ve never been to London and I’m still pinching myself that I get to spend my spring break visiting a sweet friend who now lives there.  How is this my life?

Spring weather is making its way to Texas, but for now I’m in chilly, drizzly London (eek!) where this tomato harissa coconut bisque would no doubt be a perfect lunch between sightseeing stops.  It’s got harissa, cumin, and coriander to bring in a middle eastern flavor profile and make sure the temperature isn’t the only reason this soup warms you up.  Coconut milk makes it rich and silky smooth and a hit of fish sauce and lime juice round out the dish.

In my book, tomato soup is already one of the most perfect meals out there.  I have my favorite basic recipe, which I’ve made time and again, but it calls for roasting fresh tomatoes.  Who has time for that on a weeknight?  Not me.  This bisque is quick and easy and distinctly different than your classic tomato soup.

I’ll be back soon with a post about my adventures–culinary and otherwise–from London.  For now, make up a batch of this soup and enjoy what’s left of prime wintery soup weather.

tomato harissa coconut bisque

Harissa, cumin, coriander, and coconut milk make this vegan tomato harissa coconut bisque anything but basic.


Tomato Harissa Coconut Bisque

adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt



2 TBSP coconut or olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

3 tsp. dried harissa

2 TBSP tomato paste

1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes

2 c. vegetable stock

2 tsp. fish sauce (liquid aminos for a vegan dish)

juice of half a lime

1 (14.5 oz) can coconut milk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

lime wedges, for serving

toasted unsweetened coconut, for garnish

chopped cilantro, for garnish



1.  In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil or warm the olive oil.  Add the chopped onions and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, harissa, and tomato paste.  Stir until the mixture become fragrant, about 45 seconds.

2.  Add the tomatoes with their juices, vegetable stock, fish sauce, and lime juice.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

3.  Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a blender, purée the soup.  Stir in the coconut milk.  Reduce temperature and continue simmering 20 minutes more.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

4.  Ladle soup into bowls and serve with lime wedges, toasted unsweetened coconut, and cilantro, if desired.


Yield: 4 servings

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