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What is a Bouquet Garni?

In soup recipes, I keep seeing mention of a bouquet garni.  What is it?


A bouquet garni (pronounced boo-KAY gar-NEE)  is a bunch of fresh herbs used to add flavor to stocks, soups and sauces.  Although there is no single common recipe, typically it will contain parsley, bay leaf and thyme.  Depending on what is being made, it may include other herbs.  The bouquet garni is intended to be removed from the liquid after sufficient cooking.

If only fresh herbs are being used, they may be wound with string to keep them together, or they may be wrapped in cheesecloth tied with string.  In either case, leave enough string to knot around the handle of your pot to make fishing the packet out easier, by just lifting on the string.  You can also use a tea infuser to hold the herbs.

If you are using cheesecloth or a tea infuser, then other items like whole cloves, peppercorns or garlic cloves can be included in the package.  You can also include dried herbs, provided they are not powdered.

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