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Tell me about cheese rinds in soup,please.

Now and then, I see a reference or two on threads here about using up leftover Parmigiano rinds in soup stock. Which soups? How much cheese? When does it go in?

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  1. I always put parmesan rinds in spaghetti sauce (tomato based) and minestrone.....usually the piece is about 2 x 3 or 4 inches. It cooks away to almost nothing and adds a lovely sweetness and body. I put it in pretty early an it does take a while to cook.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ElizabethS

      Ditto the minestrone, and also soupe au pistou (both tomato based with beans and summer garden vegetables). Takes "vegetable soup" up a notch.

    2. Minestrone, beans and greens soups, vegetable soup. Think stuff-in-broth soups where you'd welcome the flavor of parmesan, or maybe grate some atop a bowl. I just save the rinds when I've cut away as much cheese as is practical (so they probably have a half-inch or so thickness including the rind and the hard cheese adjacent). Toss them in when you add the stock and start simmering. They kind of collapse, but pulled out when the soup's done, they make a nice cook's treat.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Oh! I make a delicious kale and tortellini soup. I bet the cheese rinds would be perfect for that!

        1. re: kitchengardengal

          agreed, it adds a depth to portuguese kale soup as well even though my late great grandmother might disagree.

        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

          I don't even take care to cut as much cheese as possible. I have a bag of cheese rinds in the freezer and just pop one or two in.

          I do it w/ heavier flavored soups. nothing like a light chicken broth, or any asian type soups.

          1. re: chowser

            Definitely not Asian soups but it does work in a light chicken broth soup too. Give it a shot sometime. I'm doing it this weekend for ravioli in broth. And I'll use the left over broth for a take on soup au pistou.

            1. re: chowser

              Oh, I only cut away as much as practical so I can enjoy eating the Parmigiano-Reggiano. I wouldn't hesitate to throw rinds with more on them into the pot if I weren't going to eat the remaining cheese as is.

          2. Parmesan cheese is a natural source of MSG -- adds umami to your soup.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Wow, Ruth. I've always tossed the parm rind into my soups because it gave me a depth of flavor that I just couldn't get from any of the other ingredients...but I never knew why. Glad to finally know!

            2. Don't think about parm flavor, just a deeper and richer flavor of the main ingredients.

              1. I agree with everything posted. Give it a try, you'll want to do it all the time from now on . . . . I would let it simmer in the stock (or soup depending what type of soup) for a good 20 minutes - it can go longer for sure. I do it similarly to C McGrath's post above. I do find it adds a little Parm flavor but agree it really makes the broth much more complex in general.

                I have done it in:

                tomato sauces
                bean soups
                vegetable soup
                mushroom soup
                wedding soup
                and many more

                1 Reply
                1. re: thimes

                  Soup season is on its way, and I have a nice supply of Parm rinds ready to go.
                  Thanks everyone!

                2. Are there any other edible rinds that people like to throw in soup?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Any hard cheese. Pecorino romano is one I use the rind in sauces and soup.

                  2. Alton Brown in his Winter Vegetable Soup recipe uses parmesan rind to give a "meaty" flavor to his vegetarian soup.

                    You can watch the video on YT or get the recipe on Food Network.com

                    1. I agree on all the umami, saltiness, and sweetness. To me it is a lot like bitters added in the right amount in a well crafted cocktail in that it adds depth as well as its own specific taste components. And I have used other rinds too good, albeit slightly different, effect including Romano and Manchego.

                      1. I have bags of Parmigiano rind right now since I don't make hot soup in the summer. My latest way to deal with this is to make a pot of Parmigiano stock and then freeze that in ice cube trays for later use. (When I put a rind in stock, by the way, it never "melts" away. In fact, in thick minestrone a big piece can hide so I count how many I put in so I get them all out.)