Today is the Feast Day of John the Baptist, also known as the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist or the Beheading of John the Baptist. John was the forerunner to Jesus. As a man of God, John openly denounced Herod Antipas for having left his lawful wife and taken up with Herodias, the wife of his own brother. This public display of condemnation set into motion the martyrdom of the profit in the wilderness.
On his birthday, Herod gave a feast for dignitaries, the elders, and chief citizens. At this celebration, Salome, the daughter of Herodias, danced for him. So moved and excited by her dance, Herod promised her anything she desired, even half of his kingdom. On the advice of her mother, she asked that the head of John the Baptist be brought to her on a platter. While Herod feared John as a man of God, he felt compelled to comply, having made an oath before so many prominent witnesses. Salome was granted her request.
Some consider the Feast of John the Baptist to be a holy day of fasting. Others do not eat with a knife, use a plate or platter, and even go as far as avoiding foods that are round as a way of observing the day. The restrictive practices are more commonly observed among Orthodox and Byzantine Rites. As a Roman Catholic, we do acknowledge the day in prayer. I thought it would also be nice to follow the traditions of Eastern Rites as well. This soup utilizes canned ingredients, so no knife is involved. While the original recipe calls for a garnish of sliced green onions, I’ve eliminated them for obvious reasons. Served in a bowl with warm tortillas or Naan Bread, it is both humble and satisfying.
Saint John Black Bean Soup
2 (15 oz) cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 oz) can Mexican Corn, drained
1 (14.5 oz ) can Stewed Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz ) Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1 (4 oz) can chopped Green Chile Peppers
1 (4 oz) can chopped Jalapeno Peppers
2 cups Chicken Stock
1-1/2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried Minced Garlic
Rinse and drain the black beans, place in the bowl of a 3-quart slow cooker. Drain corn, add to the beans.
Add both cans of tomatoes, both cans of peppers and chicken stock. Season with chili powder, cumin and minced garlic. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or until heated through. Serve and enjoy!