Mirepoix includes onions, carrots and celery.

It is so much cheaper to buy whole carrots, a bag of onions and a bunch of celery than buying them already cut up. Have you ever thrown out rotting vegetables because you didn’t use them fast enough? In this day and time we need to start thinking about how we can save money and cut down on waste. If you’re confined to the house you can work on saving yourself time and money by doing a little prep work by making your own mirepoix.

Mirepoix, pronounced meer-PWAH, is the flavor base for stocks, soups, stews and sauces. It’s so nice to already have frozen portions cut up and ready to use. So get to chopping.

Chop 2 cups carrots (large carrots not baby carrots), 2 cups celery, 3 cups onions. The finer you chop, the quicker they cook, just as long as they are all chopped about the same size you are good. Divide into 1-2 cup portions in freezer bags or food saver bags. Throw them in the freezer, pull out as needed. To use mirepoix, cook the mixture in olive oil over medium-low heat just until vegetables are translucent. If you’re adding meat, you can sear the meat first and use that fat to cook the onion, carrots, and celery. You don’t want to brown your vegetables.

When your mirepoix is finished, you’ll have a foundation you can build on with the other ingredients that will flavor your stocks, sauces, vegetable, meat and bean dishes.

Mary Morris is the Chowan County Family & Consumer Science Agent.