HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods?

Mirepoix or sofrito?

Veggo May 23, 2011 08:37 PM

Which is your preferred platform for many stovetop dishes? Standard onion-carrot-celery mirepoix, or sofrito, which varies, so let's use garlic-sweet onion-sweet pepper sofrito slow cooked w/oo for this exercise.

  1. j
    joonjoon May 24, 2011 07:35 PM

    Mirepoix is easier. Sofrito tastes better.

    1. LiveRock May 24, 2011 04:42 PM

      Some time ago it was sofrito nearly every dish unless a recipe specifically called for a mirepoix. In recent years though this has changed to quite the opposite. Starting with my wife (who calls herself a supertaster) and expanding to several people I have had the pleasure of cooking for I have run into a lot of pepper sensitive people. I still love sweet peppers but I have become somewhat hesitant to use them unless a recipe is just not the same without.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LiveRock
        c oliver May 24, 2011 10:25 PM

        Green or non-green? The only time I use green is for stuffed peppers when they're cooked to death. They definitely "repeat" on me :) But green peppers are unripe evidently and the red, orange, purple etc. don't give the same problem. Just a thought.

      2. onceadaylily May 24, 2011 10:15 AM

        At the moment, I have five types of peppers in the fridge/freezer, but am out of celery. I doubt this will cause any missteps in the kitchen this week.

        There are a few soups in which I use a moirepoix for (except I do usually add garlic to that mixture, just near the end), but a sofrito is much more often the base I build around. The first is something I use perhaps once a month, but the latter hits the pan here at least a few times a week, every week. I've been cooking vegetarian lately, and have found that the more deprived of meat drippings I am, the more I rely on peppers, onion, and garlic to, um, distract my mouth from what it really wants. ;)

        1. h
          Harters May 24, 2011 07:44 AM

          Depends on what we're cooking, of course, But the mire-poix mix better lends itself to north European cuisine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters
            BabsW May 24, 2011 09:59 AM

            ^^ What Harters said.

            When I cook cajun, I use onion, celery and green pepper; I'll use onion, garlic and tomato for a lot of Italian sauces, but when I make soups, I generally start with the classic onion, celery and carrot mixture. I often toss in some garlic too after a a bit.

            I made a white-colored mirepoix recently for my lentil soup with a parsnip, leek/onion and celery root. Very nice.

          2. Gio May 24, 2011 07:02 AM

            In Italian cuisine it's called Battuto or Soffritto and is a combination of chopped garlic, onion, carrot, celery and flat leaf parsley. I use it as the starter aromatics for sauces, roasts and braises. I usually add crushed red pepper flakes also.

            1. mamachef May 24, 2011 06:44 AM

              For me, definitely the first for the reason that the flavors are subtler to me and it's easier to build on the first profile with all the other aromatics added in later. As in, I can tame or flame the first, but all I can do with the second is flame it, after a certain point. One exception; if the dish is strictly based on a Mexican/Spanish profile, I'll run with the second.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mamachef
                DougRisk May 24, 2011 06:51 AM

                What about the Holy Trinity? Or, Ginger/Green-Onion/Garlic?

                There are quite a few good Trios out there.

                1. re: DougRisk
                  mamachef May 24, 2011 12:07 PM

                  DougRisk: anything with ginger and garlic rings my chimes.
                  JungMann: I knew you'd say that! Which reminds me, I have some questions about Indian food, but I'll posit in a question here later. : )

                2. re: mamachef
                  JungMann May 24, 2011 07:57 AM

                  For me it is definitely sofrito (onion, garlic, tomatoes) because the flavors are bolder and form the backbone of the cuisines I most enjoy: Spanish, Mexican, Filipino, even Indian's basic onion, ginger, garlic and tomato shares some similarities there.

                3. ipsedixit May 23, 2011 09:32 PM

                  Neither, but closer to a sofrito simply because I love garlic.

                  1. paulj May 23, 2011 09:25 PM

                    Sofrito more often then not. I almost always have onion, bell pepper and garlic in stock.

                    If I have fennel scraps (tops and outer layers that aren't suitable for salad) I'll dice that up.

                    Of late I've been buying Chinese celery instead of the regular. It's smaller in cross section, and more intensely flavored.

                    1. c oliver May 23, 2011 08:40 PM

                      I take Door Number One. Time and time again.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: c oliver
                        todao May 23, 2011 09:09 PM


                        1. re: todao
                          c oliver May 23, 2011 09:23 PM

                          EXCEPT...I meant Door Number Two. Sorry about that.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            todao May 24, 2011 07:52 AM

                            OK, the door number thing gets a bit confusing. My "+1" was intended as an endorsement for sofrito. The standard onion-carrot-celery mirepoix doesn't get it for me.

                            1. re: todao
                              c oliver May 24, 2011 03:37 PM

                              Sorry. I was being silly. I'm with the sofrito also. I rarely use the other.

                              I also fixed curry for the first time recently. Onions, garlic and ginger seem to be a standard for that.

                      Show Hidden Posts