One of the cookbooks The Tasting Table Cookbook Club chose this month is Small Victories: Recipes, Advice, and Hundred of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs (whew, I’ll just call it Small Victories) by Julia Turshen. She has some great recipes and advice for using what you have in your pantry and cooking it deliciously. This Parmesan Soup with Tiny Pasta + Peas caught my eye and I had all the ingredients on hand.
Speaking of Parmesan, if you’ve not to been to Jimmy’s Italian Market in downtown Dallas, you should take a half-day and head down there. They have wonderful Italian products as well as a phenomenal variety of meats and cheeses.
We always make sure there’s Jimmy’s Parmesan in our house and in doing that, often have Parmesan rinds leftover which I usually throw away. This recipe takes those rinds and makes a simple and delicious soup.
To make this soup, you pretty much dump the Parmesan rinds, onion (unpeeled), garlic (also unpeeled), water, and broth into a pot and let it simmer until the flavors meld together and your house is filled with an amazing aroma.
You run the cooked broth through a sieve, add it back to the pot with the pasta and peas and end up with a flavorful soup for four.
I’m so glad to have discovered this unique little soup. I’ll be making it quite a bit this Fall and Winter, using whatever pasta and vegetables happen to be in the cabinets. It’s the kind of recipe you add to your staple, basic recipe repertoire and use over and over. I hope you try this one!
- 3 C water
- 3 C unsalted chicken broth
- 1/2 medium onion, unpeeled, roughly chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
- 1 C 1" pieces of Parmesan cheese rinds, plus a little grated for serving
- kosher salt
- 1/2 C small pasta (ditalini or orzo)
- 1/2 C frozen peas
- In a medium, non-stick pot, combine the water, broth, onion, garlic, and Parmesan rinds. Bring to a boil on high, then lower the heat to a low simmer and cook until fragrant, about 30 minutes.
- Strain the soup into a large bowl, mashing down the contents and getting all of the juice out of them. Throw away the stuff in the strainer, then pour the broth back into the pot. Season the soup to taste with the salt.
- Bring the soup back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the box says, then add the peas. Stir together and let cook for 2 more minutes, until peas are bright green.
- Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with a grind of fresh pepper and grated Parmesan. Don't forget the side of fresh garlic bread...
Tips and Stuff:
The original recipe called for 6 cups of water or broth, so if you want it vegetarian go ahead and use all water - just make sure to season to taste with the salt.
I used already minced garlic (about 2 heaping teaspoons) instead of the fresh.
As you can see in the photos, I used rotini pasta, but I recommend the smaller called-for pasta so you can enjoy the broth more.
If you don't like peas, steam some broccoli or asparagus and add it instead. Very versatile recipe!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 229mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
Nutrition Values are Approximate