Sofrito is a Spanish or Latin American 'sauce' that is used to add depth of flavour to many dishes. The one given here is a Puerto Rican recipe. The sauce is best made in advance and frozen in ice-cube trays and used as necessary. Add to stews, rice dishes, soups and legume dishes for a wonderful depth of flavour. Use in the Asopao de Pollo recipe available on this site. NB: If you have already made achiote oil(annatto seed oil), then use instead of the steeped olive oil below and start the recipe at step 2.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 - 20 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb red and green peppers, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1 lime
Herbs & Spices
2 tsp Annatto Seed
1/4 tsp Peppercorns Cracked Black
1/4 tsp Pepper Black Ground
1 (optional) Chillies Whole
Cooking Instructions
Step 1: Heat the olive oil and the annatto seeds in a large pan over a medium heat until sizzling. Remove from the heat and let the seeds steep in the oil until it is cool. Remove the seeds and discard (beware the seeds and the oil will stain).

Step 2: Re-heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the onion for 1 minute. Add the peppers, chilli (if using), garlic and tomato paste. Stir will and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft and cooked. Add the fresh coriander, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Stir through and remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the chilli if used.

Freeze in portions if not using straight away.