So last night at a get-together with friends, one of the hosts — a very good cook — and I ended up talking at one point about Parmesan rinds. He mentioned using such rinds in soups, a use I’d never heard of and was quite intrigued by. Tonight, needing to make use of some potatoes, I decided to see if a good recipe was available that involved that and such rinds.
Turns out it was, very much so — this page details a recipe from Lidia Bastianich that was published in the NY Times a few years back. I set myself to work and the results you can see above — very tasty indeed, with plenty of leftovers to work on tomorrow. Give it a try!
Rice and Potato Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano Rind
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
2 medium carrots, coarsely shredded
2 center celery stalks, diced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
10 cups hot chicken broth
2 2-inch-squares Parmigiano rind, exterior scraped
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. In a deep, heavy 4- to 5-quart pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Potatoes will stick to pot; adjust heat to prevent stuck bits from becoming too dark. Stir in carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until carrots are softened, another 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Add tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables.
2. Add broth, Parmigiano rinds and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, scraping up bits of potato on bottom, then simmer. Season soup lightly with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook until potatoes begin to fall apart, about 40 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until rice is tender but still firm, about 12 minutes. Remove bay leaves, stir in parsley, and check seasoning. Remove rinds and cut into small pieces. Eat them right away or put a piece in each soup bowl and ladle soup on top. Serve.