Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Soup with Parmesan Rind Broth

Earlier this month Food52 shared an amazing post titled The Classic Soup Combination You’ll Riff on 100 This Winter.  The gist, how to create an amazing soup with just three building blocks: broth, greens and legumes. The fun is how you experiment with different combinations!

My take included homemade Parmesan rind broth, broccoli rabe and white beans ladled around a huge slab of feta topped garlic toast.  So delicious and I’m definitely excited to riff on this 100 more times this season…

Parmesan Rind Broth

  • 1 cup roughly chopped Parmesan rinds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups water

In a large pot, combine the rinds, water and bay leaves and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Remove the rinds and bay leaves and refrigerate until ready to use.

Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Soup with Parmesan Rind Broth (adapted from Food52)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small leek roughly chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 cups Parmesan rind broth
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped broccoli rabe
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 pinch chili flakes or smoked paprika
  • 1-2 slices grilled garlic bread
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper

Set a soup pot over medium heat and add the leeks, garlic and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and saute until soft and fragrant.  Add the Parmesan broth and white beans and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the parsley and broccoli rabe and simmer until just cooked and bright green.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

When plating, ladle a generous amount of soup into a bowl and top with a thick slice of garlic toast.  Garnish with feta cheese and an additional pinch of paprika!

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