How to Make and Use Herbes de Provence

I discovered Herbes de Provence this past summer at the Brucemore Garden and Art Show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I found a rack of the aromatic herb mix among displays of handmade herbal soaps at the Jeanne's Soaps booth. As I stood there sniffing the sample like it was a perfume bottle, Jeanne approached. "You can use it in all kinds of dishes," she told me. "Any kind of vegetable. And it's really good for roasting chicken."

I bought a one-ounce bottle and, as Jeanne suggested, started using it in everything, from stuffed bell peppers and zucchini to my favorite chicken-in-a-pot recipe to a butternut squash and white bean mac 'n cheese dish I created one night. The fragrant blend of dried herbs added a fresh taste and delicate aroma to my dishes while inspiring me to explore new levels of culinary creativity.

It's easy to make Herbes de Provence using dried herbs harvested from the garden or purchased in bulk from a natural foods stores. Packaged in a pretty glass jar or a terra cotta crock as used in the south of France, it would make a thoughtful handmade gift for anyone who likes to cook.

How to Make Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a blend of herbs traditionally grown on the hillsides of southern France. The addition of lavender flowers is an Americanization of the traditional French mix, and is said to have been a response to American tourists' infatuation with the lavender fields growing throughout the Provence region. While some purists argue that lavender has no place in the herb blend, it adds a subtle floral flavor and lovely purple accent to the mix. Make sure to use lavender indicated for culinary use.

Add flavor and fragrance to your cooking with Herbes de Provence
Add flavor and fragrance to your cooking with Herbes de Provence

To make your own blend, mix together equal parts of the following dried herbs:

  • Basil
  • Fennel seeds (crush for best results)
  • Lavender flowers
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Savory
  • Thyme

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to four months.

How to Use Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a common seasoning in French country cuisine. The applications are endless. Use it as a rub for roasting or grilling chicken, lamb or pork. Toss root vegetables (try potatoes, carrots, and parsnips) with olive oil and Herbes de Provence and roast until tender. Use a pinch of Herbes de Provence in scrambled eggs or omelets with a few crumbles of goat cheese. Sprinkle it into stews and soups during cooking.

If you love the fresh taste of tomatoes, you will love Fresh Tomato Soup with Herbes de Provence
If you love the fresh taste of tomatoes, you will love Fresh Tomato Soup with Herbes de Provence

Fresh Tomato Soup with Herbes de Provence

The flavors of Herbes de Provence pair particularly well with the traditional ingredients of Mediterranean cooking. Use it in fresh tomato soup to infuse a hint of floral and citrus flavors.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence

6 cups fresh tomato juice (To learn how to make tomato juice from fresh tomatoes, click here. Substitute fresh tomato juice with canned low-sodium tomato juice.)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation:

Heat olive oil in a large, non-reactive stock pot (i.e., stainless steel, not aluminum). Add onion and carrots cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the Herbes de Provence and stir for one minute.

Carefully pour in the tomato juice and add salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Puree the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a regular blender or food processor and puree in batches. Heat through and ladle into warned bowls.

Makes six servings.


Make pureed soups with ease with an immersion blender

Use a food dehydrator to dry your own herbs

More by this Author


Comments 21 comments

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

I bought a small container of Herbes de Provence from a local lavender farm and used it on just about everything. It's that versatile. I have been looking for the recipe because I miss sprinkling it on roast chicken. Nothing like it! Voted up and everything else. Bookmarked, too.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa Author

I'm amazed it took me so long to discover it, Arlene. One of my top discoveries of 2011. Thanks for the comment and vote up.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

A great aromatic hub!LOL!

I agree, Herbes de Provence can be added to almost anything. I usually make my own blend and it has just a wonderful aroma!

Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful!

Sannel


NMLady profile image

NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

This wonderful...thanks


jenubouka 5 years ago

The neat fact of ordering herbs de Provence is when you order them from France, (Provence) you will get a one of kind unique blend each time. This was both fun and challenging when working in a professional kitchen. Great read, I had forgotten about this delicate blend of herbs Vote up!!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, jenubouka, NMLady and SanneL. I've started to go a bit crazy with the stuff, but haven't found anything that it doesn't work with yet. Last night I added it to my old stand-by balsamic vinaigrette recipe and used it in a salad of mixed greens, roasted beets and feta cheese. Lovely.


prism3x profile image

prism3x 5 years ago

I love using the herbes de provence in cooking soups to roasts!


christiness 5 years ago

I discovered herbes de provence a few years ago but didn't know how to make it myself. Thanks for the recipe. I always use it in my chicken salad and it gets rave reviews.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

That looks fantastic. I'll have to give it a try!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, KaraokeGuy! I'm using it in everything these days. My bottle of Herbes de Provence got a huge workout over Thanksgiving - I used it in my stuffing, in the turkey stock, as a rub for the turkey. It goes really well with the autumn seasonal foods.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

do you know if it would work well with vegetarian dishes and/or tofu? My wife is a vegetarian, you see.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa Author

It's great with vegetarian recipes, including the tomato soup recipe above, roasted veggies, and the butternut squash and white bean mac 'n cheese recipe I link to above. Have not tried it with tofu.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i'll try it! Thanks so much!


peepingtomb profile image

peepingtomb 4 years ago

This one is new to me. My French ancestors would be ashamed. I'm definitely going to have to experiment with this.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I have used this herb mixture before and love it--and I never realized that lavender was part of the mix!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Some variations contain lavender and some don't. The lavender is very distinctive and adds some pretty purple color to the mix. Thanks for your comment, Audrey.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I can almost smell this blend now, and the smell is luscious. I also love the ingredients and easy steps for the tomato soup recipe. For sure, I'm making this soup while we're in in the middle of fresh tomato season in the northeast US. Up, useful, interesting. :)


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, Sherri! Let me know how you like the soup.


craiglyn profile image

craiglyn 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I love this hub -and I am going to now make "Herbes de Provence". I have basil, and thyme in my garden - and I visit a lovely lavender farm not far from here - so I have part of the ingredients already. thanks for this. It is a great idea. I plan also to maybe make a bit of pesto from my basil. Hmmmm - you've got me thinking.


craiglyn profile image

craiglyn 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I forgot to mention, and don't know how else to do it to get to my folowers: My hub "What's That In My BBQ" has been nominated for a nugget for new writers. Here is the voting page http://hubpages.com/living if you care to read it and think it worthy of a vote, I would much appreciate it. Thanks.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Congratulations, Craiglyn! That's so exciting for you. I will definitely visit and vote. Thanks also for your comment. I think the Herbes de Provence go so well with all the flavors of fall. Pesto is great, too. It freezes well if you make a big batch.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working