This recipe was featured in the following Buzzfeed video about Native American Foods and many of the taste testers felt like it reminded them of other soups they had tasted before . As explained in the video, the name of the soup stems from the agricultural practices of certain tribes in regards to growing corn, beans and squash.
When I searched for a recipe for this soup I found a lot of results and I stumbled upon this search engine called NativeTech. Anyone can post a recipe to this site, and the point is for the Indigenous community (mostly) to share their recipes with one another, so that others can try them. When I searched “Three Sisters Soup/Stew” there were many different recipes. It seems like this is the kind of recipe where everybody’s family has their own take on it, but everyone can agree that they love it. For the purpose of this experiment I chose a recipe that was more easily found for the average Joe wanting to try it. I found this recipe here on Mother Earth Living.
This recipe has been one of my favourites that I have tried so far during this project. This soup is so unassuming, and yet is extremely delicious. I made a pot of it and it fed me for a week. It is also a very budget friendly meal and healthy which is often a rare combination. My husband doesn’t like beans, but he liked everything else about the soup. I on the other hand love beans, and because I’m not a great meat eater this is a great source of protein for me. I will definitely be making this soup again for myself and to share with my mom who is a vegetarian. I served this soup up with some bannock or AKA Indian Fry bread and it was delicious.
A delicious and nutritious soup filled with beans, corn and squash.
- 1 cup dried pinto beans soak overnight*
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 large carrot diced
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 rib celery diced
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup corn fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Soak beans overnight.
2. When ready to make the soup, drain soaked beans and place into a pot. Cover beans with water by an inch. Boil for 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Do not over boil or they will become mushy and won't hold their shape in your soup.
3. While the beans are cooking, preheat oven to 375. While oven is preheating, cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and innards. Place on a baking sheet skin side down, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool enough so you can hold them.
4. To make the soup, heat oil or olive oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until golden brown. Once golden brown, add the carrots and celery, about 5 minutes. Once softened add the garlic and cook for about a minute. While the veggies are cooking, scoop the squash out of its skins and add to the onion mixture. Make sure it is evenly distributed.
5. Add vegetable broth to the soup and bring to a boil. Once boiled, add drained and rinsed cooked beans, corn and thyme. Give the soup a good stir. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. After the 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.
*It is critical that you soak your beans overnight. I learnt this the hard way. I soaked mine for about 8 hours, and they were still really hard. I ended up having to cook my beans over the 45 minutes, and added them at the very end once cooked.