A riot of herbs on our balcony

Flowering coriander
Flowering coriander

With all the wet weather we’ve been having, the herbs Josh planted on our balcony have gone mad – huge lovely sweet-smelling bushes.

The delicate white flowers of our coriander mean that we shall soon have to replant as once they have gone to see they will die. We will collect the seeds for next time.

I’m personally not that fond of the taste of coriander, but today I will use it to flavour my carrot and orange soup and for my Rogan Josh curry next week. Jane told me she adds fresh grated ginger to her carrot and orange soup – it certainly gives it a zing – so it’s part of my recipe now

Variegated thyme in flower
Variegated thyme in flower

We have two kinds of thyme – the variegated thyme is in flower – and we have both curly and flat-leaved parsley.

We mainly plant herbs bought in the supermarket but every now and again Josh scours the garden shops for more interesting varieties.

In the autumn, I pick big bunches and freeze them in little pots for when they have died back.


I make my soup entirely in the microwave but you can equally well cook it on the hob, sweating the onions first for about 5 minutes

1 large chopped onion
1 crushed clove garlic
1 tab olive oil
Either sweat on the hob or cook on HIGH in the microwave for 3 mins

400 gm peeled and chopped carrots
2 vegetarian stock cubes
2cm grated fresh ginger
About 2 litres boiling water

Cook on MEDIUM in the microwave for 20 mins or on the hob
Liquidise and season to taste

Serve with a swirl of plain yogurt and sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander

This is enough for four so I freeze half if it’s only for Josh and me. Like most soups and stews it tastes even better after it’s been frozen



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