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Spiced celeriac soup with za'atar recipe image

Print Spiced celeriac soup with za'atar

Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend of sumac, sesame seeds and thyme and hyssop – a herb a bit like thyme and marjoram. Make extra if you like, because as well as adding a lovely rich note to this easy-to-make celeriac soup, you can keep it in a jar to sprinkle on hummus, fried eggs or roast meat.


  • Oil for frying, e.g. rapeseed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ large celeriac, peeled & diced, tossed in the juice of a lemon as you cut it up, to stop it discolouring
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1.2 litres veg stock
  • for the za’atar:
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp marjoram (or use 2 tbsp thyme)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp sumac (a ground citrus-tasting powder, widely available but leave out if you can’t find it)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry very gently for 10 minutes without colouring, until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, celeriac and lemon juice. Stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the celeriac is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Make the za’atar: Crush half the toasted sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar. Stir in the rest of the seeds, thyme, marjoram, salt and sumac.
  5. Blend the soup until smooth. Reheat gently if needed and check the seasoning. Sprinkle over a little za’atar to serve.

Cooks notes

Store leftover za'atar in the fridge & sprinkle over meat or veg, or serve with bread & oil.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes