Heat the diced bacon in a soup kettle with the butter; when it becomes partly crisp, stir in the onions. Cook until onions soften. Stir in the finely shredded cabbage and cook 2 minutes, then add boiling water, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook slowly 25–30 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Remove 2 cups of cabbage from the pot and purée the remaining. Return the 2 cups of cabbage to the purée. Mix the cheese with the cream and heat on low until it melts, then stir into soup. Serve hot with buttered croutons. Serves 6.