Snappy weather calls for comfort food, and there’s nothing more comforting than soup. There’s also nothing more comforting than cheese, but outside of French Onion Soup we don’t often see the two paired. Making a soup with cheese (and cannabis Olive Oil to drizzle) will probably blow your mind, it turns out to be so simple and delicious.
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Making broth with cheese as a flavoring is born of the Italian traits of non-waste and of rich flavors, in even simple foods. Tossing a grating cheese rind into the Sunday Sauce is a common way to complicate a tomato sauce into perfection. There’s no need to ever toss those rinds if you know how to use them. If you are a frequent thrower of cheese parties, this may change your life.
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Hard cheeses tend to be saltier than softer ones, and are aged to develop really unique savory flavors. Italian hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, and Piave are excellent for this recipe. Simply save rinds and once you have at least a full sandwich bag, get ready to make the tastiest soup of your life. If you have other hard cheeses like Manchego you can also use them provided you keep the bulk of the rinds on the Italian side off the cheese wheel, you’ll get salty richness without too much ‘funk’ like with some types.
Slightly inspired by both Smitten Kitchen and Chef Charlie Shelton
Makes 4-6 servings
For the broth:
- ½ lb Hard cheese rinds (Pecorino, Parmigiano, Grana, Asiago, Piave, Manchego)
- 1 Medium red onion
- 1 Bulb garlic
- Salt to taste
- 5 peppercorns
- 10 rosemary needles
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 6 c water
- Veggie Sausage (or an Italian sausage of choice)
- White beans
- Cannabis olive oil*
- Toasted Italian bread
Quarter onion, peel garlic, and place all ingredients into a large stockpot, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes, strain with a fine sieve.
Return broth to pot and bring to a boil with beans. Sear sausages on all sides and chop roughly, save to add at the end.
Add kale after 5 minutes. After 8 minutes, beans should be tender and kale well wilted and soft, even the stems. Serve hot in a large bowl, add some of the sausage, garnish with toast rubbed with garlic for dipping, drizzled in cannabis olive oil* and grate more fresh cheese and pepper generously on top. If you want more spice add red pepper flakes, but not too much, it’s a delicately flavored broth.
*To make cannabis olive oil:
Decarboxylate starting material for 20 minutes at 225 degrees, 10 for hash and wax, in a sealed container. Add ½ c olive oil to a mason jar with cannabis and seal. Heat in water bath for 1 hour, strain and funnel into a clean bottle.
You can sub in pasta or tortellini for any of the above ingredients, or even just use all four. Even with vegetarian sausage, this combination with kale and beans makes it a filling, hearty meal that is fuel for a long evening of whatever you do on cold winters nights, from Hygge to Hamilton tickets.