Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
50 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups soup and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)

Don't toss those rinds from Parmesan or other hard cheeses; store in the freezer, and simmer in soup for added richness and flavor.

How to Make It

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and the next 5 ingredients (through cheese rind); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and carrot; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in red pepper, salt, black pepper, and vinegar. Remove and discard rind; sprinkle soup with shaved cheese.

Ratings & Reviews

October 24, 2017
We buy Rennet-free parmesan, not super easy to find but it's out there! :)

Delicious recipe!

Fast Skier
December 23, 2016
This recipe was an option for me on the Cooking Light Diet.  It was very good, quick, and easy to prepare.  I used escarole but it was hard to find in my area and I had to visit a few stores before I found it and it was pricy.....$2.99 for the head.  When I make this next time I will probably sub spinach or chard for the escarole.  The leftovers were even more delicious!

MsLaurie's Review

January 29, 2012
Quite tasty. I have never cooked with the cheese rind before but it lends a nice flavor to the soup and I would certainly be disposed to repeating this recipe. It was good to the last bowlful.

pattict's Review

November 14, 2012
I made this almost exactly as printed. The only difference is I used white balsamic vinegar instead of white wine vinegar. It is excellent as is.

michellevega's Review

March 14, 2012
There's a lot of room for versatility in this recipe, which I like. It's very easy to make and nicely flavored. I used chicken broth and substituted spinach thrown in at the very last minute in place of the escarole. I left out the vinegar too. The only complaint in my house was that it had a strong onion soup flavor. Next time I make this I'll use the escarole because it will hold up better than spinach and I will only use 1C of onion instead of 2. Whatver changes you decide to make, DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE PARMIGIANO RIND, it is a key ingredient.

tastan's Review

March 02, 2012
Very good and very easy to make. Made as written except used spinach instead of escarole. Can also easily 1/2 the recipe which is nice, as so many soup recipes make very large quantities. Will make again.

prithy3's Review

January 05, 2012
WOW! This was fantastic! I made a couple of changes due to what I had on hand: used chicken broth instead of veggie; added about 2 c. of water and 2 chicken bullion cubes, a pinch more red pepper, a package of all natural mild italian chicken sausages (sliced), and used spinach instead of escarole. I put everything into the pot except the spinach and vinegar and let that simmer, then added the last two ingredients and let it all simmer together for about 30 mins. I had to call my friends and let them know how much I out did myself - this was absolutely one of the most delicious soups I have ever eaten, let alone made! YUM!

razmatazkim's Review

January 29, 2012
I modified (a lot) by combining this recipe another in the same issue (Spinach & Lentil Soup). I did not have canned beans but had dried lentils for the other recipe. I substituted using 1 cup of dried lentils, 4 cups of veggie broth & 2 cups of water (instead of canned beans & the suggested amt of water & broth). Followed the directions through adding garlic. Then added my increased amt of veggie broth, water & 1 cup lentils. Simmered for 40 minutes, added some chopped celery & then followed the rest of the recipe. I chopped up some flat leaf parsley to toss in with the escarole. It was amazing!!! For my kiddos, I tossed some real bacon bits on top of their servings, they ate it all & asked for seconds. We'll make this again!

ReneePech's Review

January 07, 2012
This was a very easy and tasty soup! I used red chard for the greens (which actually turned the soup red, almost like tomato soup!) and all of the flavors were really nice. Served it with a nice whole wheat baguette and it was a great dinner.

SuzanneM's Review

October 22, 2012
This was a perfect meal for a cool autumn's night- filling but not heavy, healthy, delicious and easy to prepare. I used rainbow chard in place of the escarole and increased the broth, but otherwise made the soup as directed. I missed having the bright taste of fresh herbs (had none on hand), but the dried herbs were fine. The vinegar added a nice bit of tang. I thought I was using the rind of a parmesan wedge, but it turns out that it was just the hard edge. It became a bit of a gloppy blob, but after I broke it up, it added some nice flavor. Nice time, I will try a real rind. We really enjoyed this and will definitely make it again.