While I was in Italy this summer enjoying quantities of parmesan cheese with my dear friend JK, he mentioned that his family makes a great soup with parmesan rinds. I had veggie stock in need to a soup recipe last week and came across a cabbage soup with parmesan in the cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Here is the recipe inspired by Plenty. I must say this cabbage soup was a delicious surprise. Omit the chili if you prefer no spice, however, I believe it adds a special complexity to the flavour of the soup.
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red chili pepper, finely chopped seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 medium napa cabbage, cut finely or shredded
1 medium potato, peeled and diced finely
4-5 cups vegetable stock
1-2 parmesan rinds
salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon to taste
In a large pot, over medium heat, saute onion, garlic and chili until soft. Add diced potato and cabbage, saute for a minute or so. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add parmesan rinds reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow the soup to sit covered until it comes close to room temperature. Remove and discard the parmesan rinds. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, pulse until soup is fairly smooth. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste-enjoy!