Harissa paste is composed primarily of chili peppers and tomatoes with a base of oil to help create a paste. It originated in North African cooking, where it is used in everything from salads to grain dishes to marinades.
Harissa paste also has a number of spices in it, such as coriander, cumin, caraway and garlic. It is usually quite spicy. It can be added to soup for an extra kick, as well as a dose of flavor. For instance, it goes well in fish stews. It can also be added to dips to create a spicy spread. Harissa paste can be purchased in tubes or jars and kept in the refrigerator for several months.