Since I have no vintage cookbooks whose titles begin with the letter X, I decided to use two X recipes instead. Vintage recipes, of course!
I began considering recipes for iceboX cakes, MeXican cookies, and the like. My husband scoured the internet to help me, and lucky for me he came across two intriguing recipes. I knew they would be fun to share here.
The first recipe is for Xavier Suppe. It consists of cooked dumplings flavored with Parmesan and herbs, served in chicken broth. This is a traditional Italian recipe, and was named for St. Francis Xavier. He lived from 1506-1552, and was canonized in 1622. The Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier is held on December 3rd, with this soup often prepared in honor of that day. It is the first recipe listed below.
We discovered the second recipe on a very interesting and unique website, Cooking In The Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen. It is a food history project that launched in 2014. The two women running the project, Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell have pored through the rare books collections at University of Pennsylvania to find these centuries-old recipes. They share the originals on their site, translate them to fit modern-day cooking methods and ingredients, and then cook them up. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love reading old recipe books and handwritten recipes for the glimpse at favorite foods of the past, the writing style and the notations. I have not however had the privilege of reading recipes this old! And to translate them, research the recipes and the people who wrote them, adapt them for preservation, for preparation today… well THAT is just extraordinary.
The recipe I am sharing from Nicosia and Connell’s website is for “An Excellent Cheape Soup“, from “Grandmama Lady Frankland’s Receipt Book” and they estimate the date of it to be between 1750 and 1825. This recipe is listed just after the one for Xavier Suppe.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, white
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (for dough)
- 12 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon chervil, chopped
- 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped (for soup)
- Over low heat work the flour, cream, butter and Parmesan cheese to a solid dough. Work in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and egg yolks and parsley. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a big nozzle and pipe pea-sized balls onto a buttered tray. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime heat some salted water until it boils, then drop in all the “dough peas”. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and add to the warm chicken stock. Season soup to taste and add the chervil and 2 tablespoons parsley.
- Serves 10 to 12 people.
from Cooking In The Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen. For additional notes on serving and preparation, and to see the original recipe, please click this link which will take you to the post on RareCooking.com.
- 1 lb stewing beef, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- 4 T butter, for browning beef
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 2 oz pearl barley, rinsed and sorted
- 7 oz split peas, rinsed and sorted
- 6 potatoes, chopped into 1-2 inch cubes
- cooking liquid: 1 cup chicken stock & 2 quarts water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 325F. Measure, chop, and prepare all ingredients.
- Heat 2 T butter in an oven-safe stock pot or dutch oven. Brown the beef cubes in butter to seal-in their flavor. Add the other 2 T of butter as needed. When the beef is mostly browned, add the onions and allow them to soften for 1-2 minutes. Add the barley, peas, potatoes, and cooking liquid (stock and water) and cover. When the soup has come to a rolling boil, add salt and pepper to taste. Then transfer the pot to the oven to cook for approximately 2 hours.
- Check every 45 minutes or so to make sure the grains have not absorbed all the liquid and add water as needed.