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  • Writer's pictureNona Spillers

Roasted Butternut Za'atar Soup

Updated: May 5

Ever had a dish that stayed on your mind for weeks?  One so delish you trekked blocks in the bitter cold to enjoy it two days in a row?  That was the soup we had at Mara in the Minneapolis Four Seasons.

Walking in to the restaurant the smell greeted us. Before we even sat down, we asked the host for bowls of whatever was on the stove!

It was the most delicious roasted butternut soup I’d ever eaten.  Spiced with za’atar and served with flatbread it left us warmed to our souls.

When I got home I just HAD to attempt a recreation… it turned out to be fairly simple. 

Roasted Butternut Za'atar Soup

 Every butternut squash is different in volume - it’s easy to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.


  • One Butternut Squash

  • One Head of Garlic

  • Olive Oil

  • One can Coconut Cream

  • Vegetable Broth

  • Za’atar Seasoning

  • Cumin

  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

  • Honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Split your squash in half and remove the seeds. Score the neck of the squash.  Place husked garlic cloves into the “wells” of the squash. For a medium size squash (or two small squash like mine) mix two tablespoons of olive oil with one tablespoon of honey.  Drizzle the mixture over the squash leaving a bit in the well with the garlic.  Sprinkle with Za’atar seasoning and a pinch of salt - I like to use Maldon here. Roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Remove squash from the skin and place chunks into a large dutch oven pot.  Add one can of coconut cream.  If you don’t have this ingredient you can sub real cream.  I suspect the restaurant made a full dairy version - I light to lighten recipes when I can without losing flavor.  Add 2 cups of broth - I use veggie but any will do.  Heat the mixture to a simmer.  Use an immersion blender to puree the squash and garlic.  Alternately you can do this in a food processor or high powered blender.  Add 3-4 tablespoons of Za’atar and one teaspoon of cumin.  Simmer for 5 minutes to allow flavors to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Turn off heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of honey.

Admittedly the honey is my own twist - it adds a depth of flavor that enhances the za’atar in my opinion.  If you don’t have honey (ghast!) the recipe still delicious.

Serve warm with as generous sprinkle of za’atar one top and a dollop of goat cheese or yogurt if desired.

Below is the original as served at Mara (the second time)!

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