Let me introduce you to my little French friend, Bouquet Garni.
I know what you’re thinking… Oh, you’re so fancy! I’m not always fancy, but when I am… I use Bouquet Garni!
The French do a great job making it look fancy with all their fresh herbs, wine, a splash of oil, sexy accents, those lusty eyes ….. then they tie you up…… oh sorry, the herbs! They tie those up! They even use a cute bow before tossing them in a broth….. Sorry…. bouillon. Oh la la, I am fancy! But why do they tie it all up?
Well, it’s much easier to remove if it’s in a little bouquet. And, if you don’t remove the fresh herbs that have been simmering for hours, they end up a grey, lifeless mess that nobody wants! To be clear, we are still talking about the herbs and not me after a 10-hour flight to France.
Be honest with me, when was the last time you saw fresh bay leaves at your local supermarket? Just use dried! But if you toss them in naked, they all float there on top. Grey, lifeless and dehydrated! Not a good look! That’s why I drink plenty of water and try to get enough sleep.
But will you really use it?
You’ll use it, and you’ll love it! I use Bouquet Garni in all my soups and stews. My friend Doug uses it in his lazy chicken noodle soup for the soul, so I asked him what he puts in his. You’ll never guess what he said!
He said, “Oh, honey. I buy them in Paris!” Well Doug, you’re all out and it’s hard to get there right now. Plus, the average person doesn’t run to Paris to stock their pantry! We have a problem.
When there’s a problem, we fix it! It’s simple, and it doesn’t involve jumping on a plane! Although, I would give almost anything to jump on a plane and head to Paris right now. You probably have everything you need right in your kitchen.
Traditional Bouquet Garni
This is what usually goes in a “traditional” Bouquet Garni:
- Bay leaves
You tie the fresh herbs together and toss them in your stock pot.
What if you’re not so traditional?
Here is what I use in mine. It’s the same blend as you will find in most blends today:
- bay leaf
However, you can put anything in your sachet! Oregano, basil, orange peel, lemon peel, and mint. It all depends on what you’re making!
I always have a small jar of Bouquet garni in the cupboard just waiting to get customized, wrapped in a nice blanket, and tossed in a bubbling pot of goodness. To be clear, the nice blanket I mention is cheesecloth!
You know, the best thing about making your own blend is that you don’t have to fly to Paris to buy it. It’s way cheaper! Plus, you can adjust the flavours and make it your own!
It also makes the perfect hostess gift!
If you’re the artsy type who likes to give homemade treasures, this will make a fabulous little hostess gift. Whip up a few sachets, toss them in a cute jar, throw on a pretty bow, and add cute note! Et voila!
Giving cute gifts of homemade spice blends can destroy families! Do it responsibly! Stay tuned to learn how someone’s charming little spices nearly destroyed my family…. Subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss it!
Add a nice woodsy flavour to your soups, stews and other slow-cooked meals with this traditional French herb blend.
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp marjoram
- Customize the Bouquet Garni for the dish you’re making! Making lamb stew? Add a bit of mint! Fish? Add some dill and lemon peel.
- Multiply the recipe to get the quantity desired. Make sure you make enough to keep on hand or to give away as a gift. I use about 1 1/2 tbsp per sachet, so this recipe is enough for two.
- Don’t have cheesecloth? Use a coffee filter.