Parmesan Broth

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Save the rinds from your cheese to make parmesan broth. You can use this liquid gold in soups and risottos to add a little umami flavor to your cooking.

Parmesan Broth
Whenever I ask my 2-year-old what the moon is made of, his answer is “Parmesan.”

My husband and I didn’t understand him the first few times he said it.

Parmesan is his favorite cheese, so we shouldn’t have been surprised.

We go through hunk after hunk. It’s an expensive side on my toddler’s dinner plate.

I’ve tried giving him other kinds of cheese, but he requests Parmesan.

Perhaps I should be proud of his sophisticated little palette.

Unfortunately, my wallet doesn’t feel that way.

Parmesan Broth

I always save Parmesan rinds to throw into pots of tomato sauce and soup as they cook.

They leave subtle almost salty flavor behind. A cheffy way to describe it would be umami.

It never takes me long to collect a lot of those cheese rinds.

And actually you can use those ends to make Parmesan broth, which is wonderful in soups and risottos.

How To Make Parmesan Broth

First, I heat olive oil in a big soup pot. Then I sauté a quartered onion with a head of garlic, a bunch of fresh thyme, sprigs of parsley and whole black peppercorns.

This mix of aromatics is the base of the broth.

After about 5 minutes, the garlic turns light brown, so I pour in a cup of dry white wine scraping up any lingering bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Then I let the wine simmer and reduce by half.

After that, I add the Parmesan rinds and 8 cups of water.

If you can’t save up enough rinds, you can buy them at some grocery store cheese counters.

I crank up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil and then I reduce the heat and simmer the broth for a couple hours.

As the rinds bubble away along with onions and fresh herbs, the kitchen fills with the most amazing smell.

And that scent of cheese does linger in the air for a while.

I am not complaining because you do end up with 4 cups of liquid gold (a.k.a. Parmesan broth).

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Parmesan Broth

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 5 minutes
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Save the rinds from your cheese to make parmesan broth. You can use this liquid gold in soups and risottos to add a little umami flavor to your cooking.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 head of garlic halved crosswise
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 parsley sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound Parmesan rinds


  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns for about 5 minutes, until the garlic turns brown. Pour in the wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits.
  • Add the Parmesan rinds and pour in 8 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the cheese from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Simmer for 2 hours until the broth has reduced by half.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. If not using immediately, allow the broth to cool before storing it in the fridge up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months.


Adapted from Bon Appetit December 2014


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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