St Jude’s Lentil Soup
Saint Jude Thaddeus is known as the patron saint of hopeless causes, and as one of the twelve Apostles. A cousin of Jesus, he courageously preached the Gospel, often in most difficult circumstances. He is believed to have written the Letter of Jude, one of the shortest books of the Bible. His feast day is celebrated on October 28.
Over the ages, many people in desperate need have turned to St Jude in prayer, as a trusted heavenly intercessor for all those seeking God’s assistance during times of family crisis, sickness, and trouble — especially when all hope seems lost.
The reason this saint is associated with lost causes is said to relate to an experience Jude had while in the city of Edessa, in modern-day Turkey. According to the 4th-century historian and bishop Eusebius, Jesus was still alive when King Abgar V of Edessa was afflicted with an incurable and painful disease. He had heard of Jesus’ miracles and wrote him a letter requesting a visit. Jesus, the tradition goes, responded that he would send one of his disciples. After Jesus’ Ascension, Jude went to evangelise near Edessa and went to visit Abgar. Jude laid his hands on the sick ruler, and the king was instantly healed.
Many people carry the image of St Jude on a medal or as a pendant on a necklace for comfort and call on him in their time of need and healing. In iconography, St Jude is often represented holding an image of Christ’s face. That is the ancient Image of Edessa, which was lost in 1204. Many researchers believe it to be the same item as the Shroud of Turin
This lentil soup is warm and comforting, and thus a great reminder of St Jude, for whom lentils was a staple diet. This recipe is easy to make and so nutritious too. It’s a lovely vegetarian option and great for a cold winter’s evening.
Preparation: 55 min • Servings: 6-8
- 2 cups diced yellow onions • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 cup dry lentils • 1 bay leaf • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1 tin chopped tomatoes • 1 cup diced carrots • A few celery leaves • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes • 4-6 cups of vegetable stock • 2 cups water • Salt and pepper to taste
- Add onions and garlic to a large saucepan with olive oil and sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes until golden.
- Add 4 cups of vegetable stock, lentils, tinned tomatoes, carrots, celery, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and lemon juice, and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add additional stock if you desire less thickness.
- Remove the bay leaf, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy with a prayer to St Jude!
Grazia Barletta is an author, book designer, and food photographer & stylist. She can be contacted at . Follow her blog at www.momentswithgrazia.com and connect with Grazia on Facebook/Instagram: momentswithgrazia
This recipe was published in the August 2022 issue of The Southern Cross magazine