And now for a fancy French cooking term that will boost your culinary street cred when dropped casually in conversation. Mirepoix (pronounced meer-uh-pwa) is a simple mix of coarsely chopped vegetables – onions, carrots and celery – the holy trinity of French cuisine.
Many soups, sauces, stews, stocks and other dishes begin with mirepoix as the first building block of flavor. The vegetables are roughly chopped – make sure to cut them so they’re about the same size – and typically cooked in oil or butter, just until they begin to soften (see Sweating Vegetables), before other ingredients are added. Other ingredients like bacon or veggies like leeks or turnips can be added to the mix for specific dishes, but the traditional version consists of two parts onion and one part each of carrots and celery.
Mirepoix is not to be confused with the creole holy trinity of onions, green bell peppers and celery or what many would argue is the true trinity of French cooking — butter, cream and shallots.
Cut your veggies so they’re about the same size so they’ll cook evenly.
Use your mirepoix to make one of these delicious soups or stews: