I love shortcuts in the kitchen. Especially shortcuts for things I don’t like doing. Like chopping onions. Not my favorite. No matter how many times I’ve been shown, I just never mastered the technique. I love to cook with them, just hate dicing, slicing or chopping them.
Enter…this handy bag of pre-cut mirepoix.
Is there a better shortcut than this in the kitchen? I think not. Not only are the onions diced to perfect cubic perfection, but they’re partnered with equally perfect cubes of carrots and celery. With this trio, the possibilities are endless, as this mix is the perfect start for most recipes. I use it as the foundation for soups, stews, and sauces. It’s also great for meatloaf, stewing chicken in your crockpot, or for deglazing a pan.
My other shortcut in the kitchen is Trader Joe’s steamed lentils. I’ve written about them before, but I just love them so much they deserve a second mention. These ready to use lentils are the perfect start to any lentil dish!
Below is my go-to lentil soup — a perfect way to use both shortcuts:
Easy Lentil Soup
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups green/brown lentils
32 fl oz chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
Salt and pepper
Saute onion, carrot & celery in olive oil until vegetables are soft. Add lentils, stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.