Bouquet Garni and Scarborough Fair Squash Soup

A bouquet garni (French for “garnished bouquet”) is a bundle of herbs that is usually tied together with a string. The bouquet garni is cooked ith other ingredients but is removed before serving. There is no standard recipe for a bouquet garni, but each bouquet usually includes sprigs of parsley and thyme with one or more bay leaves. The other herbs vary with each recipe and might include basil, salad burnet, chervil, kill, rosemary, white or black peppercorns, summer savory, and tarragon.

Sometimes the bouquet garni ingredients are tied to a stick of celery which might be studded with cloves.

Sometimes the bouquet garni ingredients are placed in a small cloth bag (a sachet).

Bouquet garni is famously used in such French recipes as boeuf bourguignon and bouillabaisse. It is also used in the following recipe.


Scarborough Fair Squash Soup


Serves 4


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sliced, well-washed leeks

1 clove garlic, smashed

Bouquet garni: 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 3 large fresh sage leaves, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 3 sprigs       fresh parsley, all tied in a bundle with kitchen string

1 bay leaf

1 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

6 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, bouquet garni, and bay leaf. Sauté until the vegetables are tender but are not starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the squash, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the squash becomes very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and the bay leaf; puree the mixture in a blender (in batches if necessary), and serve.


From “Talk Food Festival: Robin Quivers: Scarborough Fair Squash Soup”, by Robin Quivers.

Posted at on 17 October 2013. Downloaded on 28 August 2014.

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