Seupa à la Vapelenentse

Not yet rated

This rustic, hearty soup from the Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley) is a humble dish that sees layers of cabbage, bread and local Fontina cheese simmered in beef stock – ideal for combatting cold winter nights.

First published in 2019

Italian 'soups' (zuppa) are often more like stews or purées, rather than the smooth liquids we tend to think of. This recipe is a prime example, with solid layers of stale bread, cheese and cabbage simmered in beef stock. The stock needs to be of very high quality to make this dish really sing, so make your own if you have time. It's also a fantastic recipe when you need to use up stale bread (which was no doubt how it came about in the first place), and if you're struggling to find Fontina cheese then other alpine cheeses work well in its place.




  • 500ml of beef stock, ideally homemade or very high quality
  • 3 savoy cabbage leaves, sliced into 2cm strips
  • 4 slices of dark rye bread, or wholemeal bread (stale is fine), torn into large chunks
  • 150g of fontina cheese, sliced or grated
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon


Pour the beef stock into a pan and heat until simmering. Add the sliced cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, then drain (reserving the stock)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Arrange a layer of the bread in the base of an ovenproof dish, followed by a layer of cheese and then a layer of cabbage. Repeat these layers until everything is used up, but make sure the final layer is cheese to get a bubbling molten crust. Finish with a pinch of cinnamon
Pour the warm stock into the dish and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes
Check the dish and add a little more stock if it's dry. The soup is ready when the cheese has formed a golden and bubbling crust

Discover more about this region's cuisine:

GIC Kitchen is where you’ll find all the recipes from our very own team of Italian specialists.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more