Cowgirl Creamery's Parmesan Broth

All this week, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith from Cowgirl Creamery will be sharing recipes from their forthcoming cookbook Cowgirl Creamery Cooks, answering our questions, and giving away a book every day.  

Today: Save your cheese rinds -- the ladies behind Cowgirl Creamery are sharing their recipe for a flavorful, vegetarian broth that's a great way to use them up.

Parmesan Broth on Food52

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You can make a delicious, full-flavored stock from the leftover bits of hard cheese and pieces of natural rinds found in the cheese corner of your refrigerator. Combined with some dried mushrooms, cheese gives this stock a deep, earthy flavor. We make it often, and it’s a wonderful starting point for soups and sauces. 

You can add leftover cheese bits to any other stock, but if you try this recipe, you might be surprised how well it compares with chicken or beef stock. Save your cheese rinds and bits in the fridge until you have about 1 cup or 200 grams. Before starting the stock, clean the cheeses by slicing off any unknown molds. Parmesan and cheddar rinds taste wonderful in this stock, but any natural rind that is not too crumbly can work well.

Parmesan Broth

Makes 10 cups

12 cups cool water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups medium diced onions
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/4 ounce dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shiitake
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
About 1 cup leftover bits of hard cheese and natural rind

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Want to win a copy of Cowgirl Creamery Cooks? Tell us in the comments: Do you have a secret ingredient that you add to homemade broths? We'll choose one random winner each day, and announce them this Friday! (Unfortunately, we can only ship books within the US.)

Photo by James Ransom.

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  • gorzd
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Cowgirl Creamery launched in 1997, but our story began well before then. We met freshman year at the University of Tennessee where, little did we know, a lifelong friendship and infatuation with food would ensue. In 1976 our journey westward began. Once arriving in the Bay Area, we became involved in the burgeoning food movement at Chez Panisse and Bette's Oceanview Diner, both in Berkeley, CA. By the early 1990s, we were ready for a new challenge when we decided to launch Tomales Bay Foods, a marketing vehicle to help West Marin's farms and dairies get their delicious products into the hands of the Bay Area's finest chefs. From there, we decided to make our own cheese using the milk from neighboring Straus Family Creamery. Two decades, two creameries, four retail stores, and two thousand tons of cheese later, we still love what we do and have decided to bring our stories and recipes (dishes that use cheese not how to make cheese) to you in our first cookbook, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks.


LULULAND April 6, 2016
gorzd October 27, 2013
Lemon in chicken broth
Amy N. October 26, 2013
I like to add bacon and tomatoes to my Mac n cheese! In fact that is what I am making for dinner tonight! Excited to taste the recipe.
enbe October 24, 2013
Occasionally ginger. Especially if I'm feeling a little under the weather and want a soup with a bite!
marcellatp October 24, 2013
I'm also a celery leaf user, it really adds a nice flavor to the stock. In the summer corn cobs make a great stock.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 24, 2013
For chicken broth cinnamon.
LLStone October 24, 2013
I add a couple of whole, dried red chili peppers for some zing.
Bunnee B. October 24, 2013
If I'm using the stock for Chinese recipes, I add star anise.
creamtea October 23, 2013
I add Shiitake mushrooms to vegetarian broth.
Josefiend H. October 23, 2013
This sounds delicious. I love to add lemon zest and sometimes a clove or two to chicken stock.
LucyS October 23, 2013
Fresh herbs, bay leaves, whole peppercorns.
kmorgan October 23, 2013
This looks good! I love celery in pretty much everything.
cathymc October 23, 2013
I add the celery leaves ( as well as the stock) to all my stock bases. It rounds out the stock with a burst of fresh veggie flavor.
Jennywren October 23, 2013
Something tells me this recipe may end up in the Genius category in the future...
I love the Mt. Tam- there's alway a round of it in my cheese drawer.
I've been adding a little shot of fish sauce to every kind of broth lately.
Betsy October 23, 2013
I use whole peppercorns. Be sure you strain the broth before you use it, though!
Miss F. October 23, 2013
I always throw in a bay leaf or two.
Toba Z. October 23, 2013
I put leeks in my stock