How can that be you ask? Of course this vegetarian broth isn’t actually made with chicken but it sure tastes a lot like it. Let me introduce you to parmesan broth. I first posted this recipe back in 2015 and think it deserves a repeat appearance before for the holidays. Those rinds make a vegetarian soup base brimming with umami, that fifth flavor that makes all the other flavors snap into focus.
My local deli sells grated parmesan and I can pick up the rinds for a song. You may even be able to get them for free if you let your friendly deli manager know you want them. Don’t let them throw them out. Stock them in your freezer until you have enough to make this delicious broth. I keep several quarts of broth in my freezer.
There are other uses for them, in Italy they add a rind or two to minestrone soup for a flavor punch. I’ve also made a fantastic parmesan flavored olive oil, perfect for making salad dressings with an extra dose of umami. It’s also a nice idea for holiday giving.
My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner includes a vegetarian faux sausage and raisin dressing, this parmesan broth is a stand in for turkey stock.
Finished Parmesan Broth, cooling before strainingParmesan Broth (makes 4-6 cups)
Parmesan Broth: (makes about 2 quarts)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, quartered (no need to peel)
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise (remove the outermost papery layer)
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-4 parsley sprigs
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb. of Parmesan rinds
- 8-9 cups of water
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns. Cook, stirring often, until the onion and garlic are toasty brown about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping up any brown bit until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Add the Parmesan rinds and water to the saucepan, bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours. Stir occasionally so the rinds don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Use immediately or store in the fridge up to four days. Freeze for longer storage. This recipe makes 7-8 cups of stock, depending on how reduced it becomes. You can easily double it if you have more rinds. I don’t salt when making the broth, the parmesan contains some natural salt so I add any additional salt when the broth is used.