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Making mirepoix for homemade soup

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The Garden of Eating

(Read caption) Prep mirepoix for winter soups and stews ahead of time with the garden's fall harvest and then freeze in zip-top bags until ready for use.

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I got this brilliant idea from my friend, Peter over at Cookblog. His Instagram pic came at the perfect time – we’d just harvested the rest of our Nantes carrots, our onions were curing in the screened porch and I had a gorgeous bunch of celery in the crisper from our friends' CSA.

In case you're not familiar with this fancy-sounding, French word – mirepoix refers to the humble but essential mix of chopped celery, onion, and carrot that forms the base of many soups, stocks, stews, and sauces. (Traditionally mirepoix is comprised of two parts onion, one part carrots, and one part celery.)

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Needless to say, having your mirepoix all ready to go will speed up the process of making said soups, stocks, stews, and sauces by a good bit. SUCH. A. GREAT. IDEA!

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I started cleaning, peeling and chopping right away. Our homegrown onions are delightful – so firm, so crisp, so sweet! The only downside is that they pack one heck of a punch and I was crying buckets until I decided to try breathing through my mouth – which actually worked!

In spite of my tears, in not too long I had a big bowl of mirepoix. If you're not planning to use it right away, you may want to blanch the veggies very briefly, then drain them thoroughly before bagging and freezing them. I admit that I did not bother with that step as I predict that I will be going through my haul rather quickly.

I took out my biggest serving spoon and ladled the mirepoix into six quart-sized freezer bags, sucked the air out with a straw, labeled them and began the Herculean task of trying to find space for them in the freezer(s). I managed to fit most of them in the chest freezer and squeezed the rest into the regular freezer.

I know I'll be grateful for this prep work in the deep of winter when I want to make homemade soup or stew.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Homemade vegetable stock from kitchen scraps