Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is one of those ingredients that can very quickly make a dish seem fancier. Not only does it add complexity of flavor, but it’s also pretty. The flakes of savory cheese waft down onto a pile of pasta with delicious homemade sauce, or atop a soup for a little something different. At some point the beloved wedge of cheese that you had been grating over all the delicious things becomes nothing more than a rind to be tossed away. But wait, don’t toss it yet, there’s still some magic to be had -- with parmesan rind soup!
The rind is the outside part of the cheese that is typically darker in color, firmer than the rest of the cheese, and can sometimes have paper or a marking on it. It is not often used in cooking, however the cheese found there is just as delicious and flavorful as the rest. It just happens to be harder to get at.
This parmesan rind soup recipe is the perfect vehicle to help you use up all those extra cheese rinds. Collect a few of them in the freezer and pull out this recipe on a blustery, lazy day. You will not be disappointed.
Because this dish has a lot of flavor without being overly heavy, it makes a great companion for a decadent winter tea party. Try serving small portions in tea mugs along with tea sandwiches for a warming and hearty menu. We suggest pairing this soup with a similarly complex tea such as a spicy puerh or our Currant Conversation Oolong.
While we used croutons, herbs, and bacon as our soup toppings, feel free to add whatever toppings you like best. Things like sautéed greens, ham, pasta, corn, or other veggies are also great options.
If you don’t have any rinds on hand and are still interested in making this parmesan rind soup, simply use freshly grated parmesan instead. You can skip the step of boiling the rinds in the broth and add it straight to the soup with the broth. The heat from the soup will be enough for it to blend right in.
Garlic and Parmesan Soup
- 5 ounces parmesan rinds
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup milk
- 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs (we used parsley & chives)
- 4 tablespoons croutons
- Freshly grated parmesan for garnish
In a small pan, heat the broth and parmesan rinds over high heat. Let simmer until the rinds have melted. Discard all papers from the rinds and set aside.
In a thick-bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.
Add the broth and parmesan and stir until well blended.
Adjust seasonings and remove from heat. Stir in milk.
Place half of the bacon, herbs, and croutons into two bowls. Ladle the soup over the top and serve immediately garnished with freshly grated parmesan.