Super Christmas Soup
Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico our traditional Christmas Eve meal was tamales and a chile and hominy soup called posole. The other tradition was to go to Midnight Mass, come home, open presents, and enjoy the hearty meal. It is one of my most favorite childhood memories and one that I will relive again this year.
I recently ran across an article describing what it called “Christmas Soup.” I’d never heard of it so I read on. The dish is a somewhat simple bean and sausage soup, but the ingredients tell the story of Christ’s birth and I found it interesting. Here is the recipe:
1 cup each pinto, black, navy, Lima, and kidney beans
1 cup each black-eyed and split green peas
1 cup lentils
2 cans tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1 lb. smoked sausage, chopped
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and seasonings to taste
Place beans in large Dutch oven or pot. Cover with water just two inches above beans. Bring to boil, cover, remove from heat and let stand for one hour. Add water to cover beans again and continue doing so as needed. In skillet, brown sausage, onion, and bell pepper. Add mixture to beans and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for all for one hour.
Now here’s the story behind the ingredients:
The light brown pinto beans are the same color as the donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem.
The black-eyed peas look like the eyes of the animals Mary and Joseph found living in the manger.
The greenish-yellow lentils remind us of the hay that Mary used to make a bed for baby Jesus.
The black beans make the nighttime sky the night Jesus was born.
The white navy beans resemble the stars in that sky.
The white lima beans signify the wings of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus
The split green peas and red kidney beans denote the gifts brought to Jesus by the 3 Kings.
Cool, right? And, maybe it can become a tradition you start in your family this year. Or, you could also give the soup ingredients as a gift in a festive mason jar and attach the recipe. Either way, soup’s on!