I’ve been experimenting with some new (to me) cooking techniques lately and discovered “Aromatics.” Aromatics are a mix of vegetables and herbs sautéed in a bit of oil or fat and are used as the base for many dishes. They are perfect for making rich, flavorful soups. Every culture has their own version and for this recipe I used the French variant called “Mirepoix.”
Mirepoix is a mixture of celery, carrot, and onion that is sauteed in oil with herbs until the onion is translucent. In this, I used olive oil and a blend of dried basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano. When the onions were almost done I added two minced cloves of garlic. Adding the garlic too soon will burn it and give it a bitter taste. As this was sauteeing, I blended up some tomato from last year’s garden harvest that we keep frozen for use in the winter.
Ideally you should blanche tomato before freezing so that the skins can be removed easily. However, these tomatoes were roughly chopped and made into a chunky sauce before freezing flat in gallon size bags. I used half from the bag for this recipe. Roughly 5 cups of chopped tomato. A large can of puréed tomato will work for this. I’ve added about 2 cups of water to the puréed tomato to fill the pot about 1/3 the way up.
Once the Mirepoix is ready just add it directly to the pot. Add a tablespoon of paprika, teaspoon of cayenne, and a couple bay leaves then salt to your preference. I used about a tablespoon of salt for the whole pot. Let this simmer on low heat with the lid on for about 30 minutes for all the flavors to blend. Taste to see if it needs more salt. I try to use as little as possible if I can help it.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh grated peccorino cheese and a dash or two of pepper. Grilled cheese sandwiches are optional.
The full easy to read recipe is below:
Recipe: Tomato Mirepoix Soup
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cups puréed fresh or frozen tomato or one large can of puréed tomato
- 2 cups water
- Start the mirepoix by cutting the onion, celery, and carrots into small pieces.
- Add to pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and stir to cover vegetables with oil.
- Begin sauté with medium heat and covered pan. The cover helps steam the vegetables a bit.
- Add the herbs and stir.
- Mince the garlic and add to the mirepoix when the onion is almost translucent.
- As the mirepoix is sautéeing in the pan, add the tomato, bay leaf, spices, and bay leaf to a soup pot. Turn to low/medium heat.
- Once the mirepoix is ready then add it directly to the soup pot and stir. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve and enjoy.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8