Ah…soup. That warm, comforting, savory food that makes the cold winter days more bearable. Here at Villanova, we volunteer in soup kitchens, attend bread & soup luncheons and collect soup recipes from Dining Services, the College of Nursing and the Office of Health Promotion, just to name a few. And of course, you’ll find many resources on soup, both literal and figurative, at the library.
Don’t worry. I’m not here to talk about Darwin’s primeval (or primordial) soup or, heaven forbid, the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I won’t be delving into Grass Soup, eaten by prisoners in Mao Tse Chung’s China, or Calf’s Head Soup, apparently popular in 1759.
This recipe for Parmesan broth is easy. You can add just about anything to enhance its nutritional value. It can also be used as an ingredient in other recipes, including stuffings, casseroles and sauces. You can ask for cheese rinds at a grocery store with a good full-service cheese counter.
½ lb. cheese rinds (parmesan or any hard, grating cheese)
6 cups water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Cheesecloth keeps the cheese from floating around and sticking to your cookware.
A tall, preferably non-stick, sauce pan will ensure that water covers all the ingredients while the broth simmers.
Tie up the cheese rinds in cheesecloth with kitchen or butcher’s twine. Place all ingredients in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and keep at a low simmer for about an hour. Use a sieve or colander to strain out all solids. Let the broth cool for storage or use the optional list of ingredients below to make soup with the broth.
Optional Ingredients for Soup:
Cooked white beans (White, Great Northern, Cannelini, Navy, etc.)
Kale, spinach, collards, or any other dark green leafy vegetable
Cooked pasta or rice
After adding one or more of the optional ingredients, let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes before serving so that newly added ingredients are warmed and greens wilt and soften.
The recipes I loosely followed are provided as links below and are from some of my favorite food blogs. Embedded links above will take you to University and Library resources.
I love HuffPost’s suggestion to use the broth to de-glaze a pan and create a flavorful sauce. And adding cream takes it up a notch.
Food blog by Luisa Cywinski, writer on Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader of Access Services.
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