Sofrito is a traditional Spanish vegetable base that is a foundation for many other dishes. It has a long a long history and has been referenced in cookbooks as early as the 1300’s.
Sofrito is highly flavorful and makes an excellent base for sauces, stews and other dishes. The elevated flavors are the result of the way the ingredients are prepared; they are cooked in fat (olive oil) to release the flavors. Many cuisines around the world use this technique: In India, dishes like curry and dal (beans) are covered with “tempering” which is a selection of aromatic spices that have been cooked in ghee (clarified butter) to release their flavors. In Thailand, a curry paste is cooked with coconut milk and the flavor of the spices and ingredients are released.
Different Mediterranean cuisines have their own variations of sofrito.