We've known for a long time that adding cheese rinds to soups and stews adds depth to your dish. But have you thought of making a stock with your rinds? You can use it in place of chicken or vegetable stock or broth and we guarantee you'll love the results.
We can't take all the credit—this idea is from Nate Appleman of San Francisco's SPQR and A16 restaurants—but if you like cheese as much as we do, you may find yourself with as many rinds as a bustling restaurant. Rather than wait for your next soup, create the base for one by simmering your old parm, pecorino, or grana padano rinds in a stock pot.
Start with about 8 cups of water and half a pound of cheese rinds (or whatever you have on hand). Simmer for 3-4 hours, and voila, cheese stock. It makes for a simple and relaxing weekend project during our (hopefully) last few weeks of chilly weather.
Just substitute your cheese stock in place of chicken or vegetable broth, and not just in clear soups. This stock works especially well with cheese-friendly purees like broccoli, cauliflower, or potato. The resulting flavor is decidedly cheesey, but in a really understated way. You'll taste a complex, subtle note beneath the rest of your components.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Italian Meatball Soup Rapido
- Creamy Garlic
- Tomato Soup with Toasted Cheese Croutons
- Hearty Kale and Sausage Soup
- Mushroom Soup
Hey, you can even refer back to our archives from our soup-themed February.
Related: How to Serve Soup at a Dinner Party
(Image: Nora Singley for the Kitchn)