Sofrito Cheese Sauce

  • Yield: 4 1/2 cups
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins

A sauté of colorful vegetables adds verve and flavor and festivity to a classic rich cheese sauce; a bit of optional harissa (Tunisian roasted pepper and garlic paste) adds kick. At the last, an optional fresh green stir-in of either minced parsley or minced cilantro adds one more element of taste, texture, and flavor. This can be made a day or two in advance, and slowly reheated in the top of a double boiler a half hour or so before serving, or, if you prefer, in a small slow-cooker set on low for an hour or so.


2tablespoons butter
2tablespoons mild vegetable oil, such as canola
1large onion, diced
1-- carrot, diced
1-- red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1-- yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1-- jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1/4cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3cups 2 percent reduced-fat milk
1teaspoon harissa, optional
1cup (4 ounces) grated extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese (such as Vermont cheese)
1/2teaspoon salt
-- Freshly ground black pepper
1/3cup finely minced parsley or cilantro (optional)


  1. Heat butter and oil together in a large skillet until butter melts and begins to sizzle. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes. Add carrot and peppers; cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables; cook 4 minutes.
  2. Combine stock and milk in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Gradually add stock mixture to vegetables, stirring with a whisk until mixture is smooth and thick
  4. Stir in harissa, if using, and cheese. Cook, over low heat, until cheese melts and sauce is thoroughly heated. Add salt and pepper, then parsley or cilantro. Serve over Oven Poached Eggs in Spinach Nests.

Recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 90
  • Glycemic Load .11
  • Fat 6g
  • Saturated Fat 3g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 1.5g
  • Cholesterol 15mg
  • Sodium 140mg
  • Potassium 150mg
  • Carbohydrate 6g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 4g
  • Trans Fat 0
  • Vitamin A 20%
  • Vitamin C 50%
  • Calcium 10%
  • Iron 2%