Xavier Soup is the perfect meatless soup for Lent!
This month Fandom Foodies is hosted by Food ‘n Flix and the fandom is X-men! I’ve seen most (all?) of the X-men movies (and loved them), though I haven’t read the comics - other than glancing through a few online searching for recipe information.
I was looking at the comics because I rewatched the first two X-men movies (and just saw Deadpool for the first time - hilarious) and found almost no food other than beer, whiskey, & beef jerky. Yikes.
After glancing through a few comics, I found a few food references (iced tea and a generic thanksgiving-style spread), I still wasn’t inspired.
Then I had the idea to start looking for foods than began with the letter X. Most were very authentic Indian or Chinese dishes I would never dream of making – either the spices/ingredients were too hard to come by or they involved fish/seafood in some way. Yuck.
Thankfully, there was one more on my list, and why I didn’t start with the one I could pronounce is still beyond me. Xavier soup! (and also Duh, Charles Xavier - why, why, wasn't this obvious right away?!?) And yet, even this could be a bit of a stretch.
I got super excited when I found out that Xavier soup was named after the Catholic Saint, St. Francis Xavier. St. Francis Xavier lived in the 1500’s and was a very active Catholic Missionary. Yet, as I searched, and searched, and searched, it seems like all of the recipes originated from a single source: Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf.
Being Catholic, I was super intrigued by the book, however, it must be out of print, because the only copies I could track down were a bit too spendy for my liking. I was really wishing I could get ahold of the book to find out if there is any historical information linking St. Francis Xavier to the recipe or if it was a witty invention by the author.
Nonetheless, I decided to make Xavier Soup – and since it’s vegetarian, I decided to make it for Ash Wednesday. Since Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstaining from meat, I figured this would be perfect!
So, it turns out a day of fasting (especially a day of fasting, plus leaving work late, plus stopping by the gym on the way home), is not the day to attempt a rather complex recipe.
You guys – I don’t know what I did wrong, but the dumplings were an absolute nightmare! The mixture, which I originally thought was too thick, ended up being waaaay to thin, verging on soupy. I very nearly quit and made kraft mac & cheese.
Thankfully, the gloopy “dumplings” could be scraped off the pan and actually managed to hold together in the boiling water (color me shocked!)
The soup itself is actually super delicious, even if it’s not much to look at (my broth is super dark due to the fact that my homemade broth used beets at one of the ingredients).
I found the recipe over at The Lass in the Apron (or if you get ahold of the book, it’s sure to be in there too!)