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Thanksgiving Techniques

Basic Knife Skills to Make Mirepoix

Basic knife skills are common to all cuisines. Knowing how to cut aromatic vegetables, like carrots, onions and celery, is the start to great-tasting soups and sauces.

A mirepoix [mihr-PWAH] is a French term for the combination of carrots, onion and celery. As the flavor foundation to many soups, stews and sauces, the classic mirepoix ratio is two parts onion to one part celery and one part carrot.


Peel the carrots and halve them lengthwise to make handling easier. Slice into planks, about 1/8-inch thick.

Stack three or four planks on top of each other and slice into matchsticks.

Gather the sticks into a bundle, then cut them crosswise into small cubes.


Halve an onion through the root and stem ends. Cut side down, trim off the stem, leaving root end intact. Remove outer skin.

Again cut side down, slice through the onion, taking care that you don’t cut through the root end.

Turn the onion and slice it perpendicular to the cuts you just made. The onion’s layered design creates a natural dice.


Trim off the ends of the celery ribs. Cutting through the cupped side, slice into strips.

Gather the strips into a bundle, then cut them crosswise across into small cubes.