Zuppa alla Valpellinentze


A warming Italian comfort dish
brimming with salty broth and melty cheese



My “5 Cheese Dishes from 5 Countries” series needed a rich, comforting, cheesy soup, and this Italian dish was the perfect solution. With an unexpected combination of cheese, cabbage, and bread, zuppa alla valpellinentze is a simple, hearty, and rich soup that warms you up on cold winter nights. I particularly enjoyed the cheese pulls produced by the scrumptious Fontina cheese!

This zuppa alla valpellinentze recipe comes from Carlotta, who is from Italy. The name means soup, Valpelline style, referring to a town in Valle d’Aosta. The Fontina cheese used in zuppa alla valpellinentze is the most popular one in Valle, and I can definitely see why. For Carlotta, this soup reminds her of her nona. Although her grandmother didn’t speak much, she was a straightforward, hardworking lady with a lot of love in her heart. She showed her love through cooking, which Carlotta eventually realized and embraced with excessive gratitude. Every time Carlotta returns home, her nona has a fresh batch of zuppa alla valpellinentze waiting for her. 

To put it plainly, I felt loved while eating this dish, as I’m sure Carlotta does, too. The preparation felt similar to that of French onion soup, minus all the hard work. And when I finally got to ladle out a huge bowl of it for myself, the first bite was heavenly. Cabbage and cinnamon was an unexpectedly wonderful pairing, and it worked well with bread. The Fontina cheese had a delicious sweetness to it, but note that you’ll need to heavy-hand it to get proper cheese pulls! 

Cooking is a love language many of us can understand. Carlotta’s nona created a beautiful zuppa alla valpellinentze recipe that epitomizes comfort and produces a warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach. This cheese dish made me feel loved and at home. What more could you ask for in a food?

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Zuppa alla Valpellinentze


  • 12 slices bread such as rye or thinly sliced sourdough
  • 30 g butter
  • 250 g fontina cheese
  • 1 l beef broth
  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 1 pinch cinnamon


  • Boil the cabbage with broth for 5-10 minutes, you want it to become soft but not mushy. 
  • Take a casserole dish and you do a first layer of bread, then a layer of cabbage, then some cinnamon, then of cheese and you repeat for at least 2 times (nonna does for 2-3 or sometimes 4).
  • Be sure to end with cheese. 
  • Then you take the broth from earlier and you pour it all over this. With a fork, try to spread it really well so that everything is wet by the broth. Doesn't have to be submerged, just softened and wet with the broth! 
  • Bake at 375℉ for about 40 minutes and cheese is bubbling and melty on top.
Course: Dinner
Keyword: Comfort food


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