Bouquet garni, pronounced boo-KAY gahr-NEE, is a collection of herbs (traditionally fresh parsley, fresh or dried thyme, and bay leaf) that are bundled together and cast adrift in your pot to flavor a soup, stew, or broth. They are tied together so they can be removed easily at the end of the cooking.
My mother wrapped the herbs in a bit of cheesecloth, but Madeleine Kamman, the cooking teacher and author, advises against it,suggesting that the cheesecloth inhibits the free exchange of flavors with the food being cooked.
Add what you like or need to your bouquet garni.
There are incredibly aromatic and inexpensive pre-made French bouquet garni, containing oregano, thyme, bay leaves. and more. If you make stews, soups, or roasts with any regularity at all, this is something you might like to have on hand.
Old School Recipe and Prep Method
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
4 large sprigs parsley (including stalks)
2 4 inch pieces leek (green part)
10 4 inch piece celery stalked with leaves
Place the bay leaf, thyme, parsley and celery on one piece of green leek. Cover with the remaining piece of green leek. Tie securely with fine string, leaving a length of string attached so that the bouquet garni can be easily retrieved. Wrap in cheese cloth and tie off with all string tails out.
New School Recipe and Prep Method
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 Tablespoons dried thyme
2 Tablespoons dried bay leaf
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
Combine parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary in cheese cloth. Gather ends of cheese cloth and tie off with string leaving a tail for bouquet retrieval.
Yet another way to wrap your bouquet garni.
Bouquet garni can be placed in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dark place away from heat sources. It will keep for about 6 months.