I searched my memory and my people for a food memory that begins with the letter X. There were none. I did find a recipe for Xavier Soup and decided to make it a new memory.
Xavier Soup is named for Saint Francis Xavier. It is prepared on his feast day, December 3rd. Saint Xavier was a founder of the Jesuit order and wandered Asia as a missionary in the 16th century. Fittingly, Saint Xavier is the patron saint of missionaries.
Xavier Soup is simple, like the wandering missionary. The original recipes included complicated steps mostly because the chicken stock had to be made from scratch. I no longer boil chicken, skim the fat, pick meat from the bones, and clarify to make stock. Thankfully, boxed chicken stock had come a long way and simplified this simple soup.
The challenge of Xavier Soup was to make the dumplings. I mixed butter, flour, heavy cream, eggs, egg yolks, lots of parmesan cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chopped parsley then scooped the thick batter it into a plastic zip bag and cut the corner to make a pastry bag. Little dumplings were squeezed out onto parchment paper and transferred into boiling water. They looked like dumpy gnocchi. When the dumplings floated I scooped them out then plopped them into a simmering pot of chicken stock and fresh parsley. Look at that! I made my first dumplings.
Xavier Soup was everything it promised to be—simple and satisfying. No fuss, no hullabaloo, no memorable drama. I supposed this was the goal of Xavier Soup.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.