The Best Cabbage Soup I Ever Made

Really. Just ask my family and friends.

Valle D’Aosta Cabbage Soup
(Moosewood Restaurant New Classics)

SERVES 4-6; PREP TIME 35 min

4 cups cubed bread (about 1/2 lb. – hearty grain bread is best)
5 Tblsp. butter
5 to 6 cups thinly sliced or grated cabbage
1/2 tsp. ground/grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
6 cups vegetable stock or broth (we used chicken broth)
2 cups grated Fontina cheese

Preheat the Oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Spread bread cubes evenly in a 9×13-inch casserole dish or 2-quart ovenproof dish (A little larger pan would probably be good. I had to use a little less liquid since it was so full.)
If the cubes aren’t dry, toast them briefly in the oven. Melt 3 Tblsp. of butter and drizzle over the stale bread. Set aside.

When the water boils, blanch the cabbage just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well. Spread the cabbage over the bread. Melt the remaining 2 Tblsp. of butter and stir in the nutmeg, pepper and salt, and pour the seasoned butter on the cabbage and bread. Pour the stock over everything and evenly spread the cheese on the top.

Bake until cheese melts and starts to brown, 25-30 minutes.

Serve immediately.