A bouquet garni is a bundle or sachet of herbs that you assemble and add to something you’re boiling or stewing for a prolonged period of time like a soup, stock, or stew. The bundling or sachet allows you to remove the herbs quickly and easily once what you’re making has enough flavour – not unlike a tea bag. French stocks in particular strive to be crystal clear, and so the bouquet garni is key in helping to achieve this.
What you include in a bouquet garni will depend on what you’re making, but generally, thyme and bay leaves are used as a base. Other herbs that can be added or asked for in a recipe include:
Some recipes also ask for certain vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions to also be included in the bouquet garni. For those recipes, it’s better to use a sachet method as the vegetables can break down over the course of cooking. Some also wrap everything up inside a few layers of leeks that have been halved lengthwise and tie it together.
Assembling a bouquet is very easy. There are two main methods:
1) Stack and bundle your herbs together and tie it tightly together with a string
2) Place them into a tea bag or cheese cloth and tie that tight with a string
Voilà, You’re ready to go!