Dishing Up the Dirt

Broccoli & Za’atar Soup with Tahini Cream

The idea for this soup came from one of my favorite soups on the blog “Cauliflower & Za’atar Soup.” I love za’atar spice blend and use it often to jazz up roasted veggies, sauces or sprinkle it on scrambled eggs. A jar doesn’t last long in our house and while it’s easy to make your own blend I’m known to stock up from Savory Spice Shop in Portland, Oregon (you can also order from them online). If you’re already familiar with za’atar I don’t need to convince you that it pairs really well with this broccoli soup. However, if you’re skeptical about purchasing a spice blend just for one soup trust me here. This soup will be on rotation all winter long and you’ll be able to search many more recipes on the website that use za’atar. Besides, it’s a new year and a well stocked spice rack should be a goal of everyone!

This soup is a lovely combination of flavors and is so darn creamy (without any cream!) that I can’t get enough.  The tahini drizzle that is mixed in at the end is worth the added step (please don’t skip that part as it ties all the flavors together!) and while you’ll likely end up with extra tahini sauce it’s great drizzled on roasted veggies, salads, grain bowls or roasted meats. You’ll be happy to have some on hand all week long.

I hope you all enjoy this nourishing soup as much as we do. Cheers to a new year and lot’s of tasty food!

Broccoli Za'atar Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 35-45 minutes    Serves: 4

Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons za'atar
  • 2 whole heads of broccoli, broken into small florets (about 4 cups worth)
  • 1 medium sized yukon gold potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and roughly chopped (or any white/yellow flesh potato)
  • 1 litre (4 cups) low sodium vegetable broth + additional to thin if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Lemon Tahini Sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (tiny tiny pinch here)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water + additional to thin as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garnishes
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • za'atar for sprinkling

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and cook the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until they begin to soften up, about 5 minutes. Stir in the za'atar, broccoli and potatoes and coat the veggies in the spice mixture. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. While the soup simmers prepare the tahini sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and whisk until completely smooth and creamy. This works best with a small food processor, immersion blender, or regular blender. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. If the sauce is too thick add a touch more water.
  3. Once the soup has simmered for 25 minutes and the veggies are tender use an immersion blender to puree the soup until completely smooth and creamy. Alternately (and my preferred method) transfer the soup to a high speed blender (you may have to do this in batches) and puree until smooth (see note). Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste for seasonings and keep on low heat until ready to serve.
  4. Divide the soup between bowls. Drizzle each bowl with a few tablespoons of the tahini sauce and garnish with parsley and pine nuts.

Notes

*I prefer pureeing creamy soups in a high powered blender because I've found it results in a smoother texture than with a stick blender *Store extra tahini sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days


Leave a Reply

13 thoughts on “Broccoli & Za’atar Soup with Tahini Cream

  1. Carlos At Spoonabilities says:

    Lovely Soup! Since I discovered ZA’ATAR, I can’t stop adding this wonderful blend of spices to my recipes.

  2. Rita Bruckstein says:

    Interesting use of Zaatar and Tahini. I am from Israel where Zaatar and Tahini is used daily but never in soups.
    We use Zaatar as a dip mixed with olive oil or sprinkled on choped vagetables salad or on sour cream cheese (Labane) or on Feta cheese.
    Tahini is used as a dip or spread or mixed with Houmus or cooked on hamburgers (Synya) or on fried cauliflower.

  3. Jewel McKenzie says:

    Hi Andrea! Hope your holidays have been filled with the joy of family and good friends. I was trying to find your recipe for za’atar, but it didn’t come up under your recipes. I tried searching under Vegetarian, thinking it might show me recipes that included za’atar, but it didn’t even give me vegetarian recipes……Came up blank. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, as always, for an enjoyable email I always look forward to receiving!

    Jewel

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Jewel, I don’t have a recipe for za’atar on the website. I just meant I have a lot of recipes on the blog that use the spice blend. When I do make it myself I follow this recipe. http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/how-to-make-za-atar-spice-at-home

      I hope that was helpful. Happy cooking!

  4. Bianca says:

    Great recipe, Andrea. Our Lebanese son-in-law introduced us to Za’atar years ago..
    Curried broccoli soup also good to try. Enjoy your nourishing recipes.
    Happy New Year !

    1. Andrea says:

      I’ll have to give curried broccoli a soup a try next! thanks for the idea. xo

  5. Amelia says:

    I feel compelled to tell you that I was called “the soup boss” after making this recipe for dinner tonight… 😀

    1. Andrea says:

      This just made my night! Yeeehawww!

  6. Shannon says:

    This is genius! You are a genius.
    http://youcaneatnow.com

  7. Mandy says:

    Made this last night! It was absolutely delicious! Gonna make it tomorrow night with cauli! Thank you for this nugget!

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy you loved it too!

  8. Jane Fisher says:

    You won’t find a bunch of people calling Broccoli ‘yummy’, but this soup sure does sound tasty. Love the rich color and texture. I like adding tahini paste/sauce to salads and roasted vegetables, but have never really used it as a soup topping. Za’atar is indeed a versatile spice blend and the real Lebanese zaatar herb has flavor notes of thyme, oregano, marjoram, and savory packed in one herb. But you often end up with regular thyme in store-bought mixes. The brand of zaatar I use makes all the difference taste-wise. If buying online search for quality Za’atar, Za’atar with no fillings, pure Za’atar, or zaatar no salt.

  9. Jane Fisher says:

    You won’t find a bunch of people calling Broccoli ‘yummy’, but this soup sure does sound tasty. Love the rich color and texture of the soup. I like adding tahini paste/sauce to salads and roasted vegetables, but have never really used it as a soup topping. Za’atar is indeed a versatile spice blend and the real Lebanese zaatar herb has flavor notes of thyme, oregano, marjoram, and savory packed in one herb. But you often end up with regular thyme in store-bought mixes. The brand of zaatar I use makes all the difference taste-wise. If buying online search for quality Za’atar, Za’atar with no fillings, pure Za’atar, or zaatar no salt.

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