Best laid plans... There was going to be another 'W' last week, and then there just wasn't. And so to 'X': Zuppa di Xavier or Xavier Soup. Named for Francis Xavier. I am not certain if the soup is eaten on a special day, but you'd certainly need some time to make the proper version. Mine is not the proper version. I cheated and used some nice, prepared chicken stock. I enhanced it with some extra flavours. I only made one third of the dumpling mixture and I stopped at 80 pea-sized dumplings. I think the whole mixture might run to 400 or 500.
Xavier Soup serves 4
- 1 litre of good chicken stock
- optional extras: chopped onion, celery, carrot, garlic
- 2 tspn cornflour
- 2 tbspn cold water
- chopped parsley
- 150g plain flour
- 150g grated Parmesan cheese
- 80g butter
- 100ml cream
- 1/2 tspn ground black pepper
- 1/2 tspn grated nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk extra
To make the dumplings, put the cheese, flour and butter in a saucepan over a low heat and mix until the butter melts and a dough is formed. Remove from the heat.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Add extra water, if needed, to bring it back to the 1 litre mark and return to the heat. Mix the cornflour and cold water so it is smooth, add to the stock, bring back to the boil and mix for one minute. Set aside.
Bring another saucepan of salted water to the boil and then add the dumplings. Mine 'set' , but I did roll them to a nice pea shape. It didn't really seem to matter. Boil for 5 minute and then remove.
Pour the hot soup into the dish, add the dumplings and some finely chopped parsley. It is a delicately flavoured soup, a bit posh really. Not something for a hearty meal, but I think if you added some diced chicken it would be more substantial.