John the Baptist was the forerunner, the voice in the wilderness, crying out. He is mentioned by the Roman Jewish historian Josephus. He is revered as a major religious figure in both Christian and Islamic faiths. He is considered to be a prophet of God.
Even Jesus identified John as Elijah who is to come, which is a direct reference to the Book of Malachi. The Book of Malachi is the final book of the Old Testament, making it the final word before the New Testament and the promised Messiah.
John’s birth was announced by an Angel just as Christ’s annunciation. Like Abraham’s wife, Sarah, John’s mother Elizabeth was beyond childbearing years. We don’t know much about John’s early years. We do know that he spent a great deal of his time in the desert, and that people came to him. He baptized them, preparing the way for the salvation that was to come. John was strong-willed. He spoke out against the immoral behavior of Herod. In so doing, his fate was sealed. John would not back down, excepting the death of a martyr rather than compromise his convictions.
John was beheaded and his head served up on a platter to please Salome, the daughter of Herodias, the unlawful wife of King Herod. Herodias was already married, to Herod’s brother. John spoke out, was arrested and executed as a result. Because of the way he died, a common observation among some Greek Orthodox and Byzantine is to avoid plates, platters or knives at mealtime on this day. Soups are the easiest way to avoid plates or platters. Soups made with canned ingredients allow us to avoid knives as well.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate a spicy bowl of Taco Soup. Enjoy!
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
In a bowl, mix together all the spices for the seasoning. Set aside until ready to use.
1 (16 oz) can Corn
1 (15 oz) can Kidney Beans
1/2 tablespoon Jalapeno Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Beef
1 (4 oz) can Diced Green Chilis
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 (15 oz) can diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can Tomato Puree
Drain corn and kidney beans, set aside.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Jalapeno oil and until just shimmering, about a minute or so. Add ground beef, breaking it apart as it browns. Continue to sauté until cooked through, about 8 minutes or so. Drain well, return ground beef to the pot.
Add spice blend and diced green chilis to beef. Stir well to combine. Let simmer until aromatic, about 2 minutes or so.
Add stock, corn, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato puree to the pot. Stir gently to marry all the flavors together in the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat.
Cover. lower heat to medium-low and let soup continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Round Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream as desired
Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend as desired
Ladle soup into bowl. Garnish with tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, sprinkling of cheese and torn bits of cilantro.