When you use fresh herbs and spices in homemade soups and other recipes, they add exciting and interesting flavors that you just can't get from dried-up old herbs that have been sitting in the back of your pantry for far too long. However, some fresh herbs and spices can be woody or otherwise inedible, so it is not always a good idea to include them in your recipes. To overcome this problem with fresh plant material such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves and other "woody" plant parts, you can make a simple "bouquet garni" bag in which you place your herbs, cook the bag with herbs in your recipe and remove it before you serve the dish to your guests.
Things You'll Need
Herbs and/or spices
How to Make and Use Your Bouquet Garni Bag
Gather the herbs and spices you will be using in your recipe.
Determine how large to make your bag by making a pile of the herbs you're using.
Place a large piece of cheesecloth over your piled-up herbs and cut it to fit, making sure to wrap the cheesecloth over and under the pile of herbs.
Gather up the cheesecloth with the herbs inside and tie it tightly with a piece of string.
Place your finished bouquet garni bag into your recipe at the beginning of cooking and let it remain until the dish is done.
Remove your bag from the recipe when it has cooled a little.
Untie the bag, empty and compost the herbs.
Many fresh herbs do not require a bag because they are tender and fresh and they can add texture and color to your dish, but some stems, roots, and even some leaves such as lemongrass can be woody and result in a dish that has inedible pieces. You can re-use your bouquet garni bag several times with different herbs in different recipes.