The classic mixture of aromatic vegetables that forms the base of soups, stews, braises and even gravy.

Soffritto is the base mixture of diced vegetables used in many dishes. Called mirepoix in French cooking, this mixture is found under various names around the world, often with regional combinations. I use the Italian version with onion, carrot and celery as my base. When making a bolognaise sauce, I add garlic, chilli and thyme, red wine and some good chicken stock.

Ingredients –
Onion x 2 parts (I generally use white/yellow onion, but red will also work)
Carrot x 1 part
Celery x 1 part (I use the stem, but have used the leaves as well if young and tender)
Chilli to taste
Garlic to taste
Fresh or dried thyme (substitute oregano, parsley, sage or rosemary)

Peel and chop the vegetables in a small dice. Finely chop or mash the garlic, finely dice the chilli – removing or keeping the seeds as you wish. I generally use slightly more onion than carrot and celery, but it really depends on the day.

Heat a glug of olive oil to about medium in a saucepan and gently sweat the vegetables until their structure starts to collapse and you get a hint of browning on the onions. Add the herbs.

Your soffritto is done. This is the base for various pasta sauces, stews and soups. I generally make this for immediate use, but some cooks believe a day or so in the fridge will intensify the flavour. Making soffritto used to take me forever, but I have speeded up my chopping technique to just below injury level.

Chop celery, carrot and onion into a small dice, add finely chopped chilli and garlic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *