How to Make Bouquet Garni
Learn how to add a lot of flavor to your soups, stocks and stews with this classic French method. Here’s everything you need to know about bouquet garni. How to make it and how to use it.
Making a bouquet garni is an easy method to add flavor to soups, stocks and stews. All you need to make it are a few sprigs of fresh herbs, a little unwaxed kitchen string and cheesecloth.
What Is Bouquet Garni?
Bouquet garni (which means “garnished bouquet” in French) is a bundle of herbs that are tied together with unwaxed string or wrapped in cheesecloth. French cooks started using it in the 1600s and today it’s still a staple in Provencal cooking. A classic French bouquet garni includes sprigs of fresh parsley, thyme and bay leaves and is used to add flavor to soups, stocks and stews. After the herbs are tied together, the bundle is dropped into the pot to simmer with the other ingredients and removed before serving. This infuses subtle flavors from the herbs to enhance the flavor of whatever you’re cooking it with.
Bouquet Garni Recipe
A traditional French bouquet garni is made with fresh sprigs of parsley and thyme and dried bay leaves, but you can use any combination of herbs you like, including rosemary, basil and tarragon. If you choose to wrap it in cheesecloth, you can add a peeled clove of garlic and peppercorns as well.
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh thyme
- Dried bay leaves
How Do You Make Bouquet Garni?
Like a bouquet of flowers, the fresh herbs and bay leaves are gathered together in a bundle and tied gather with unwaxed string. You can also place the herbs in the center of a square piece of cheesecloth or muslin cloth and tie the bundle together using string. This will prevent leaves from breaking loose in the soup, stock or stew while cooking.
Bouquet Garni vs Sachet
A classic French Bouquet Garni is a combination of herbs typically tied together with kitchen string and used to flavor soups, stocks and stews. These herbs can also be enclosed inside cheesecloth or muslin cloth or added to a spice bag. The combination of herbs and spices gathered together in cheesecloth or a spice bag is called a French “sachet d’epices” (pronouced “sa-SHAY DAY-pees”), which literally means “bag of spices”. The main difference between bouquet garni vs sachet is with one, the herbs are tied together with string, and the other, the herbs are enclosed in cheesecloth or a spice bag. Dried herbs, garlic cloves and peppercorns can also be added to a sachet.
How To Make A Sachet Using Cheesecloth
To make a sachet using cheesecloth, cut the cheese cloth into 4 x 4 inch square pieces. Lay the bouquet of herbs (sprigs of parsley and thyme and bay leaves) in the center of the cut cheesecloth. Gather the four points of the cheesecloth together into a tight bundle with one hand, give a little twist of the fabric to make it tightly closed, and tie the cheesecloth closed with unwaxed kitchen string.
Bouquet Garni vs Mirepoix
French Mirepoix (pronounced “meer-PWAH”) is a combination of finely chopped celery, carrot and onion that are slowly cooked in butter or oil and used as a flavor base for soups and stews. The classic ratio for mirepoix is one part celery, one part carrot and two parts onion. Bouquet garni is made with herbs and mirepoix is made with vegetables. Both are used to flavor soups, stocks and stews.
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- 5-6 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Cut a piece of unwaxed kitchen string about 4 inches in length.
- Gather the fresh herbs together in a bundle and lay them on the string. Wrap the string around the herbs 3-4 times and tie in a knot. Cut off any excess string at the ends.
- To make a sachet using cheesecloth, cut the cheese cloth into 4 x 4 inch square pieces. Lay the bouquet of herbs (sprigs of parsley and thyme and bay leaves) in the center of the cut cheesecloth. Gather the four points of the cheesecloth together into a tight bundle with one hand, give a little twist of the fabric to tightly close it and tie the cheesecloth with string. This will prevent leaves from breaking loose in the soup, stock or stew while cooking so you won't have to strain the broth.
- Drop the bouquet garni into a pot of soup, stock or stew and simmer with the other ingredients.
- Remove the bouquet garni before serving. Twist the cheesecloth to strain liquids back into the pot before discarding the bouquet garni.
- Strain the broth or stock to remove any loose herb leaves that broke loose during cooking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
theharvestkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations. See full disclaimer on About page.