I love experimenting with soup flavours in the winter months. Sometimes I come up with a real winner, this week was one of those!

Lamb Rendang (recipe here) was the main course and I needed a starter that will carry the Asian theme. I had a pack of broccoli florets and a tub of humus in the fridge. The result was this amazing Broccoli and Humus Soup (Recipe here). To bring in more Middle Eastern notes I added Zaatar and lemon to my basic cream of broccoli soup recipe.

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern herb blend of mainly dried thyme, oregano and marjoram. It is available in some local supermarkets, but if you don’t have any simply make up your own using these dried herbs.

I love the fresh, bright flavour of lemon. I find it elevates the other flavour components so I often add a squeeze of juice or the zest to soups and sauces. Here the lemon works beautifully.

The second time I made this soup I only had Jalapeno Humus. If you want an extra zing use it! It was as delicious.

I add a spoonful of humus to the base of the soup bowl. As you eat the sup you get small surprise hints of humus. If you like you can omit this.

If you want to add more body to the soup, suitable as a main course lunch or supper a can of chick peas will add more interest and some protein making it a more balanced meal.