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Za'atar Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Recipes

Za'atar Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Brittany Carlson

This soup is delicious. I love it because of the za'atar spice, which is a savory blend of spices commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes. It is usually a combination of oregano, ground sumac, thyme, toasted sesame seeds and salt. I bought mine but you can just as well make your own.

What's more is za'atar has been used medicinally in Middle Eastern folk traditions. The particular blend of spices is loaded with flavanoids, which have an antioxidant effect on your body. Za'atar has been used to treat colds, stop coughing fits, improve overall immunity and even boost your mood. A 2010 study completed by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that these spices elevated serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.  Both thyme and oregano contain carvacrol, which is a substance that studies have shown increases neural activity in the brain, stimulating the secretion of your happiness hormones (dopamine and serotonin). Woo!

Children in middle eastern cultures are encouraged to sprinkle za'atar on their meals before an exam for increased brain power. I recommend trying this at home : )

Ingredients

  • 1/8 teaspoon nut meg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar spice
  • 2 leeks
  • one head of cauliflower
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee for sautéing leeks and spices
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee to be used after transferring the soup into your blender
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped to enjoy on top of your soup (optional topping)

Method

  • Heat the ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, za'atar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the leeks start to soften. Stir often.
  • Add 4 cups of water and cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Heat on low and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender. I recommend using a Vitamix because it makes the soup extra smooth and creamy. Add the last tablespoon of ghee and puree until smooth.  
  • Put in bowls and top with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
  • Store leftovers in glass jars in the fridge or in the freezer for a later date!