Most of the time I can’t be bothered with grating a chunk of Parmesan up to the very end. It's not that I don't own a good quality grater, often I simply can’t be bothered grating the hard ends, fearing the risk of ruining my perfectly manicured hands (haw-haw). What happens is that I usually forget the stub and buy a new chunk of parmesan. When cleaning the fridge I find these stubs in the back of my fridge and discard them. What a waste!
I have learned many years ago that Parmesan rind can be used to flavour broths, soups and sauces, but up until now I kept procrastinating on actually trying this ancient food saving hack. I have saved quite a few of them in a jar stored in the freezer. Thanks to this blog and commiting myself to be more mindful with my leftovers I have dug out a recipe from the Spring 2000 issue of Vogue Entertaining and Travel from Australia. You don't want to know what other areas of my life I have been procrastinating on, but while perusing that magazine I could not believe I have wanted to try that recipe for ages...17 years!
Ok, I will stop beating myself up now. What I love about it, is that this soup does without a lot of ingredients, nothing that would eventually create more foodwaste and make your life more complicated. Play around with different beans. I quite like butter beans, for this recipe I tried borlotti beans. I like their funky pattern plus they happened to be the only dried beans in the organic supermarket that didn't travel all the way from China (uh-oh). The borlotti beans were grown in bella Italia.
White bean and parmesan rind soup
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 250 g ( oz) dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight and cooked according to packet instructions (1 - 1.5 hours)
- 1 litre (1 3/4 pt.) chicken or vegetable stock
- about 60 g (2 oz) of Parmesan rind
- good quality olive oil
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and gently cook the onion on medium heat until translucent and softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the beans, the stock and the parmesan rinds. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind from the soup and discard. Using a standing mixer or handheld blender puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and reheat. Serve the soup with good quality olive oil drizzled on top.