This One Ingredient Is the Key to Perfect Soup

It turns out restaurant chefs have been using it forever.

February 21, 2020

Ribollita as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Get The All-New Food Network Kitchen App

Download Food Network Kitchen now to sign up and take advantage of the latest offer and get 40+ live classes a week, hundreds of on-demand cooking classes, in-app grocery ordering and so much more.

In this series, we're showing off some of the coolest recipes, tips and tricks we've learned from chefs in the all-new Food Network Kitchen app.

I'm not the biggest soup lover, even in the winter. There. I said it. I think the main reason I'm not eager to cozy up with a big bowl is that I often find soup to be far too watery and lacking in overall flavor. No matter how many noodles, veggies and proteins in the broth, I end up leaving the table hungrier than when I first sat down.

It wasn’t until I watched Marc Murphy’s Ribollita class on the Food Network Kitchen app recently that I realized many of my lackluster soup recipes are missing a key ingredient: Parmesan cheese.

Yes, you read that correctly. According to chef Marc, Parmesan cheese, or more specifically its rind, makes all the difference when whipping together a pot of your favorite brothy creations. “You might find this a little crazy,” Marc says during the class right before he drops a thick Parmesan rind into a simmering pot of vegetable stock.

I have to be honest with you, I was very skeptical — “Won't it just disintegrate?” I remember thinking to myself after rewinding the video for the third time. But that’s exactly the point!

Though the Parmesan rind won't melt entirely, it will get super soft and break down. This not only infuses your broth with a powerful kick of umami, according to Marc, it'll also thicken the broth considerably, giving your soup a rich robust flavor that's impossible to resist. As a huge lover of Parmesan cheese, I couldn't help but be intrigued. I already knew Parmesan was amazing melted on top of baked pasta and breaded chicken cutlets; just imagine what it could do to a bowl of veggie-packed, bread-topped soup?!

I honestly can't wait to try the hack in everything from classic Chicken Noodle to hearty Minestrone soup and have even been saving Parmesan rinds in my freezer for the occasion. Who knows, this ingredient hack may win me over as a soup lover for good!

Related Links:

Next Up

Crispy Business: How to Make Parmesan Crisps

Parmesan crisps look fancy, but they're actually just cheese and crackers for the lazy. You get the crunch of a cracker plus big cheese flavor in one — and they're super easy to make.

This Is the Best Way to Freeze Soup

From now on, we're only using Jeff Mauro's method.

8 Healthy Soups You Need to Make This Fall

All of the comfort with none of the guilt.

Enter for a Chance to Win This Soup and Sandwich Ceramic Tray Duo

Win the Soup and Sandwich Ceramic Tray Duo by Uncommon Goods, a tray that allows you to enjoy the classic soup-sandwich combo all on one plate.

How to Thicken Soups, Sauces and Other Foods

Learn the sneaky tips and techniques to thicken whatever you're cooking.

The Magical All-Purpose Broth

Today I'm sharing an easy recipe for my secret weapon: a fast, healthy and flavorful meal in just about no time. I call it All-Purpose Broth. The star ingredient? Miso paste.

Potato-Fennel Soup — Meatless Monday

Get the recipe for Food Network Magazine's Potato-Fennel Soup, a quick-cooking, comforting recipe ideal for Meatless Monday dinner.

Related Pages