At our open day we came across a book in the jumble called “Herbs for All Seasons” by Rosemary Hemphill (1972). It goes through the common and less common herbs and gives some history of their uses (it explains that a “decoction of lovage seeds was recommended as a gargle for infections of the mouth and throat, as a drink for pleurisy and as a lotion for bathing sore eyes”, for example. What didn’t it cure, I wonder). It also has lots of recipes – how to grow and make orris (perfume from iris roots), violet ice cream and elderberry face lotion. It’s an education and an inspiration. But this recipe I can’t see myself making:
CHILLED PEANUT AND NASTURTIUM SOUP
Here are the instructions anyway.1 1/4 pints hot water 4 tsps Vegemite (I’m assuming Marmite could be substituted) 1 cup roasted peanuts 3 or 4 nasturtium leaves chopped roughly 1tsp salt 1/2 pint milk Nasturtium flowers
Pour the hot water onto the Vegemite and stir until dissolved, making a broth. Place the peanuts, 1 cup of the broth, the nasturtium leaves and salt together in a blender and purée until smooth. Empty the peanut mixture into a saucepan, stir in the rest of the broth and milk, simmer for ten minutes, then chill. Float a nasturtium flower – or one petal if you prefer it – on each serving.
I’m not sure…