Soup and Bread

Parmesan Broth with Kale, White Beans, and Spicy Sausage



From Cyndi Fecher

This broth was surprisingly rich, just salty enough, and just generally full of cheesy goodness — I’m craving it still. (And yes, that’s a cropped version of the same photo: Parmesan broth is ready for its closeup.)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch thyme
3–4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 cup dry white wine
8 ounces Parmesan rinds
6 cups water
Salt, to taste
4-6 ounces Italian sausage, spicy
14 ounces cooked cannellini, Great Northern, or other small white beans
2-3 ounces Lacinato kale


To make broth, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, and peppercorns, stirring often, until garlic is deep brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping up any brown bits.

Add Parmesan rinds and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent cheese from sticking to bottom of pot, until broth is flavorful and reduced by half, about 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Makes about 4 cups (but doubles easily—for Soup & Bread I multipled the recipe by 6).

To make broth into soup, rown the sausage and add to broth. Prepare the kale by removing stems and ribs and cutting the leaves into thin ribbons. Add to the broth, along with cooked beans—adding in the bean cooking liquid if you like, which adds more depth to the soup. Simmer the whole lot together for 10-15 minutes until beans are warmed and ale has softened. Serve with an extra grating of cheese and crusty bread.

 A note on Parmesan rinds

Most grocery stores and cheese shops will stock cheese rinds—any place that sells grated cheese will also have rinds available. See if they’ll give them to you for free, but if you have to pay, the rinds are much cheaper than the same amount of cheese—I got mine from Mariano’s. You can also freeze your cheese rinds in a plastic baggie once you finish a block—Asiago, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, and other hard cheeses should all work just fine. Note that most hard cheeses use calf rennet in production, meaning this broth isn’t suitable for strict vegetarians, even if you leave the sausage out.

A note on cleaning the pot

There is quite a bit of cheese residue in the creation of this soup, which will stick to your spoon, pot, and pretty much every available surface you can think of. If you have one, use a nonstick pot, which will make cleanup easier. Or, put all the broth ingredients in cheesecloth to simmer, though I find this results in a thinner, less flavorful broth. If you make the soup in the same pot as the broth, and continue to scrape the bottom while stirring, the mess will be somewhat minimized, but it’s still a bit of a pain.


Posted: Friday Jan 8,2016 05:15 PM In Soup Recipes

One Comment

  1. Lisa
    January 8, 2016

    I missed a chance for a 2nd bowl. Good stuff.

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