Add A Parmesan Rind To Your Soups And You'll Never Turn Back

Making a delicious soup is all about layering flavors. There are many ways to do so, from choosing the right aromatics to crafting the perfect seasoning blend, with each addition bringing its own special something to the pot. Our favorite method for enhancing soups, though, is by including the rinds from a parmesan cheese wheel, as it infuses the dish with a deep, savory flavor you won't be able to give up.

Tossing a parmesan rind into your stock pot isn't a new idea. It is a recommended inclusion in many recipes, like this rustic Italian wedding soup and this simple parmesan broth. Parmesan is distinct from other cheeses not only because of its long history but also because it has been shown to possess significantly high concentrations of compounds that create an intensely salty, umami taste. When broken down in the soup, these flavors are imparted to the broth and give the soup a richness that only parmesan can achieve. There is also the added benefit of the proteins and fats added from the cheese. These components thicken the soup slightly and further elevate the eating experience by introducing a velvety texture.

When to add parmesan rinds in your recipe

If you decide to try this trick, simply throw in your parmesan rinds at the very beginning of making your soup, along with any other ingredients you are using to build the soup base. Doing so not only gives the parmesan ample opportunity to add its savory funk to all of the other ingredients, but also allows enough time for the hard rinds to soften and partially dissolve into the liquid. When your soup is finished, you can either remove the remaining rinds from the pot with a strainer or puree them into the soup for an even thicker, stronger texture and flavor.

The easiest way to get parmesan rinds is to buy them at the grocery store. Not all grocery stores will have the rinds specifically on offer, but many do, especially those with dedicated cheesemongers. The alternative is to save the rinds of the parmesan cheese you already use at home. When storing leftover rinds, be sure to place them in an airtight container and stick them in the freezer so that they will stay in good condition until you are ready to use them.