Thursday, July 17, 2014

Xavier Soup, who claims the name?

Bet you were wondering what we would do for the letter "X"... well so did we...LOL!!!

There are many foods that are named after people. For example there is Banana Foster, Eggs Benedict, Beef Wellington, Potatoes O'Brien, to name a few.

Such is the case with Xavier Soup. There are two competing stories as to whom this soup was actually named after.  

The first story says that Louis XVIII (1755-1824), also known as Louis Stanislas Xavier of France named the soup.  Louis was quite a gourmand, in other words, someone who enjoys eating, often to excess. 

The other story is more of the general consensus. The soup was named after St. Francis Xavier who was a Catholic missionary. Oddly enough, he is the patron saint and namesake of Louis XVIII.  

Xavier saw it to be his duty to travel to Asia and Africa preaching to word of Jesus Christ and baptizing everyone he could convert to Catholicism. 

St. Francis Xavier
Perhaps we will never know which story is true.  What we do know is that today it is Catholic tradition of celebrate Advent with the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. The traditional dish at the feast is Xavier Soup or Xaver Suppe.

Xavier Soup is a simple, yet elegant soup consisting of a broth with dumplings.   We offer you a recipe made easy.

Xavier Soup
What you need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cream
1 stick butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
8 cups chicken stock **

What you need to do:
Melt butter in a saucepan, add cream, flour, cheese, salt and pepper.  Remove from head. Mix into a dough and stir in eggs and yolks, along with the parsley.  Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Heat chicken stock in a large sauce pan.

Bring salted water to a boil in a sauce pan.  Using a small teaspoon, scoop dumplings into the boiling water to cook.  They will rise to the top as the cook.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings from the water and add to the chicken stock.  When all the dumplings are added to the broth, adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with a nice crusty bread.

This recipe is the traditional Xavier soup.  There are many variations on this them. You can add milk or cream to the broth to add richness.  You can add cooked chicken and vegetables, if you like a soup with more body.  It is a nice base for any number of ideas for a tasty chicken soup.

**  If you wish to make your own stock, here's a recipe for you.

Now  go out and make something good.

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