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Help - culinary term for first step of soup/stew

toniad Jul 3, 2011 06:14 PM

What's the French term for the first step of making a stew or soup? Not sauteing, but the description of creating the base by sauteing the onions, garlic, butter etc...


  1. t
    toniad Jul 7, 2011 06:33 PM

    Thanks everyone! Yes, it was mirepoix that I was trying to remember.

    1. thew Jul 5, 2011 06:35 AM

      sweating. dont know the french

      1. blue room Jul 5, 2011 06:11 AM

        Chopping? Shopping? This has me intrigued now -- I looked in "La Cuisine" by Raymond Oliver which is surely the most serious cookbook I have, rarely opened (:-( but I don't find a word that quite fits. I've heard of "sweating" the vegetables, but that's not French of course. Emeril the TV chef calls it making the vegetables "happy".

        1. eclecticsynergy Jul 5, 2011 01:01 AM

          Interesting. Until now I'd thought mirepoix was a specific combination of minced onion, celery and carrot. Thanks, Veggo.

          1 Reply
          1. re: eclecticsynergy
            monavano Jul 5, 2011 05:21 AM

            You are correct. Mirepoix is a combination of onion, celery and carrot. The method of preparing the mirepoix as a base may include saute or roast, for example.
            Not sure what the OP is trying to get at.... still thinking on that.
            Saute (method) the mirepoix (a specific trio of aromatic ingredients typical to French cuisine).
            Unless you go before that and are referring to the mis en place?

          2. Veggo Jul 3, 2011 06:23 PM

            you may want to learn about sofrito, for which there are many variations.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Veggo
              C. Hamster Jul 5, 2011 05:19 AM

              Mirepoix refers to the diced aromatics themselves, not to the first step in the process of creating a soup or stew.

              Mirepoix is probably most often sauteed but it doesn't have to be.

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