What is it that makes restaurant soups and stews so much more flavorful than those you make at home? It’s probably a bouquet garni. (It could also be the professionally-trained chefs and top quality ingredients, but for the purpose of this post we’re gonna go with the bouquet garni.)
A bouquet garni is a sachet of herbs used to add flavor to soups, stews and sauces. The herbs are wrapped in cheesecloth so that their flavor can seep into the food and they can be easily removed once the cooking is complete.
A standard bouquet garni is made up of a sprig of fresh thyme, a few black peppercorns — crush them with the blade of your knife, a couple of bay leaves and a few parsley stalks. Tie the herbs in a bundle in the cheesecloth with kitchen twine. You’ll use the string to easily remove the bouquet before serving.