Broth is what makes soup worth eating. If you’ve ever tried to make a tasty vegetable soup only to wind up with something lackluster, you may have found yourself wishing that there was some way to give that veggie broth a boost of umami so it could stand up to bone broths. Well, Giada de Laurentiis just shared a solution for making vegetable broths that have just as much depth and flavor as their meaty counterparts: Parmesan rinds.
“Have you heard of Parmesan broth?” Giada’s food account posted Tuesday. If you haven’t heard of it, let us explain.
When you buy a wedge of Parmesan, one end of it has a hard rind that you can’t really grate and ends up getting tossed in the trash. Instead of throwing the rind away, what you should be doing is saving it. You can pop it in a bag in the freezer if you’d like, and wait until you have several rinds before proceeding with making broth (if you’re impatient to use them, just add a single rind to a pot of soup or stew to enhance the flavor slightly). If you’re lucky, sometimes the cheese section of your grocery store will have containers of Parmesan rinds you can purchase at a much lower price per pound than a full wedge of cheese.
De Laurentiis’s recipe for Parmesan brodo calls for a pound of Parmesan rinds along with the usual aromatics: celery, carrot, garlic, onion, and fresh herbs.
You simmer the ingredients together for just over an hour, then cool and strain the broth, using it wherever you need an umami-rich base for soups, braises, stews, and more – or even just a cup of something savory to sip on when it’s cold outside.
One thing De Laurentiis *doesn’t* tell you? After the Parmesan rinds have simmered for so long, some of the cheese up against the rinds soften. Pick out the rinds after you strain your broth and you’ll have a gooey, chewy chef’s snack to gnaw on in the privacy of your own kitchen. A little messy, but we swear it’s worth it.