An essential prepared ingredient in French cooking both now and in antiquity.

At its most simple, mirepoix is chopped carrots, celery and onion, sautéed until softened, but not browned. This recipe from “French Domestic Cookery”[1] adds a bit of parsley, thyme and a bay leaf. Note that modern recipes may specify 2 parts onion to 1 part each carrot and celery. This one does not. It could be because they figured you already knew, it could be because those ratios were not established then, or it could be that they did not care to write it down.

Mirepoix, recipe




  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Stalk of celery
  • 1 Sprig parsley
  • 1 Sprig thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Lump of butter (approx 1 Tbsp)


  1. Cut the celery and carrot into coin-thick slices. Chop the onion medium-fine.
  2. Add the butter, vegetables and herbs to a saucepan over low to medium-low heat.
  3. Gently sauté, covered, until the vegetables are soft. Stirring occasionally
  4. Remove the bay leaf and herb sprigs.
  5. Use as needed.

Edouard Fayat, Willis’s Restaurant French Domestic Cookery. The Hon Algernon Bourke, 1899.

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