Valle D’Aosta cabbage soup recipe

Valle d’Aosta cabbage soup Rick Stein

As seen on Rick Stein’s Food Stories on BBC Two, this is Rick’s Valle d’Aosta cabbage soup recipe. Its origins are very much in the Italian mountains, but Rick’s visit to a Suffolk farm inspired him to bring this to life back in his Padstow kitchen. It’s joyously comforting.

Ingredients for Rick’s Valle D’Aosta recipe


  • 500g savoy cabbage, chopped
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock or beef preferably home made or of good quality (or vegetable if you are vegetarian)
  • 5-6 thick slices (about 250-280g) of stale, dry sourdough or Rye sourdough bread
  • 1-2 large cloves of garlic, cut in half
  • 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon, chopped
  • 70ml olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 300g Gruyere or Gouda cheese, grated or thinly sliced
  • 60g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and black pepper

How to make Rick’s Valle D’Aosta recipe

  1. Mix the Fontina/gruyere /Gouda with the parmesan and preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan.
  2. Boil the cabbage in the stock for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the bacon pieces until golden and starting to crisp, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the butter and a little more oil to the pan and fry the pieces of bread until golden and crisp on all sides then set it aside.
  4. In a large casserole using a slotted spoon, put half of the cabbage in the bottom and season with plenty of pepper and a little salt and add half of the bread half the bacon pieces and half of the cheese. Then repeat with more cabbage, bacon, bread and season with salt and pepper, ladle over the still hot stock and finish with the remaining cheese, bring up to a simmer and transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbling with all the cheese melting.  
  5. Use a large serving spoon to serve into 4 warmed bowls. 

Happy cooking


Charlie Stein’s drink pairing

A local Val D’Aosta White would work, probably quite hard to find so perhaps a Greco di Tufo from Campania.

Rick Stein’s Food Stories

Rick’s new book, Rick Stein’s Food Stories, accompanies the BBC Two TV series of the same name which celebrates his favourite recipes from recent travels around the UK – including Cumbria, Belfast, Bristol and Birmingham. Pre-order a signed copy from our online shop.