Parmesan Broth

This is one of those great recipes that make you wonder: is it really worth it? Oh man, a delicious parmesan-y taste that is perfect for the winter. If you can get affordable parmesan rinds (I can get them for $5.99 for 1 lb at my local Whole Foods), I recommend this recipe. I served it with spaghetti noodles, white beans, kale, and a soft boiled egg. Via Smitten Kitchen.


  • 8 ounces cheese rinds, any paper at the ends removed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt, to taste

To serve

  • 2 to 3 ounces tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale; this is the thinner, flatter leaf variety), washed and patted dry [I used the curly kale I had and roughly chopped it.]
  • 1 ¼ cups cooked white beans (from about ¼ pound dried), with their cooking liquid if fresh (usually about 1 ½ cups) (updated measurement) [I used canned white beans. I drained half the liquid and added the other half along with the beans.]
  • Olive oil and parmesan for serving

Make the broth: Bring all broth ingredients to a boil in a large pot, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for one hour. Pour broth through a strainer. Your yield should be approximately 4 ½ cups. You can use this right away or cool it before storing it.

Turn the broth into soup: Prepare kale by removing tough stems and center rib (I often use kitchen shears for this), then cutting the leaves into thin ribbons. Add them to the broth, along with the beans. Add bean cooking liquid if you wish; this not only stretches the intense parmesan broth further but adds a gorgeous extra depth to the soup. Simmer ingredients together for 10 minutes, until kale leaves wilt and beans are warmed through.

To serve: Ladle a small amount of beans, kale and broth into a bowl. Top with a slice of toasted baguette. Drizzle baguette and soup lightly with your favorite olive oil and grate some fresh parmesan cheese over. Eat immediately.


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