I was looking through my fridge the other day to take inventory of what I had and what I needed when I noticed I had lots of carrots and celery that were on their last leg. I try and keep these in my fridge especially during the winter months because, along with onions, I always use those as my veggie base for soups and stews.
The fancy term for the chopped veggies used as a base in soup is “mirepoix” – pronounced “mir-pwa”. I like to throw in some fancy culinary words every now and again… ;)
It always takes a little longer than I expect to chop all these veggies every time I make a pot of soup so I was thinking, why not chop and freeze them for when I need? So that’s exactly what I did! I chopped up enough carrots, celery and onion to make 3 quart sized baggies worth and then I froze them so they’re ready when I need them!
I ended up chopping up another two small stalks of celery just because I had so much to use. I didn’t really measure how exactly how much I used of each, I just made sure the bowls I filled were filled about equally. When it comes to mirepoix in my soup, it’s the one thing I’m least accurate about… just throw in enough to make it look right and call it a day!
I rinsed each stalk of celery and then sliced it into thirds and then diced it up finely. I usually chop up my mirepoix in larger chunks but after cutting it this finely I think I’ll continue this way from now on.
Peel all the carrots first and then chop off both ends. For the fatter parts I cut then in half, and then each half into thirds before finely chopping. Try and keep them as uniform as possible but I understand that carrots are a little harder to do that with, especially with the skinny little ends, so just do your best.
Lastly, dice up the onion. I hate chopping onions. Anyone else? Do you cry an ugly cry when chopping onions with lots of snot running out of your nose? No? Oh, okay, me neither.
Can you see how I cut my onion? Keep the root part in tact that way it holds the onion together while you dice it up. Cut it into strips (like shown above) and then dice it up and it’ll hold together as you dice. It’s a pretty awesome little trick! Unfortunately though, it still doesn’t prevent the crying! Anyone have a tried and true trick to keep from crying while cutting onions??
Try and chop pretty similar amounts of each vegetable… like I said above, I don’t usually measure, I just try and chop up the same amount and call it good. It looks like I have a little more onion than carrots or celery but that’s totally fine.
Grab a large baking sheet and put down a nonstick baking sheet or parchment paper. Spread the veggies across the sheet so that they’re laid out as flat as possible. You’re going to stick this into your freezer for several hours. But before you do, grab a paper towel and try to blot the veggies to get as much liquid as possible off of them.
If you have a large freezer and more space, feel free to separate these veggies on different sheets and spread them out even better. I have a small freezer with not a lot of space so this is what worked best for me.
I left mine in for about 3 hours and then I pulled them out and separated them into thirds so I had equal amounts of each veggie to go in each bag.
Add a third of each veggie to the quart sized baggies and flatten them out so you can stack them in your freezer. These should be used within 3 months of freezing or if you notice freezer burn forming, use them up quicker!
When you’re ready to make a pot of soup, just dump these in a pan with a little oil and saute until you’re ready to add the rest of your ingredients. This will definitely help speed up the process when you need a shortcut!
And if you need any soup recipes, check out my soup category under Recipe Index. Enjoy!
- Dice the vegetables up into equal sizes and amounts. Be sure to clean the veggies first and peel the carrots.
- Lay the diced veggies on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and freeze for several hours.
- Separate the veggies into freezer baggies and store flat.
- When ready to use, pull from freezer and saute in a pan with some oil.