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Zuppa di Valpelline

From the Val d'Aosta in northern Italy comes this savory cabbage soup that could double as a casserole. Made with coarse, stale rye bread, this casserole has great character even though the ingredients are humble at best.


Preheat the oven to 300F

1 large head Savoy cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped

4 strips bacon, diced

1 pound loaf stale coarse rye bread, sliced thinly and toasted

3 tablespoons savory or marjoram

1/2 pound Italian Fontina cheese, cut into small pieces

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cups beef broth

Salt to taste


Simmer the cabbage with the bacon and just a couple tablespoons of water in a casserole with a lid. Cook until the cabbage wilts down a bit Transfer to a bowl.

Line the casserole with a layer of the toasted bread slices. Top with a layer of cabbage, sprinkle on a little of the herbs and some of the cheese. Dot with butter.

Continue making layers until cabbage and bread used up. End with bread layer and a layer of cheese on top of the bread.

Pour the meat broth around the sides of the casserole.

Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.


  1. Barbara Beeby's avatar

    Barbara Beeby

    my mouth is watering after watching you make this wonderful soup.

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