I have been so busy with work and travel that I have not had time to put anything here on the blog. Winter is on the way, the cooler days have me craving a nice pot of soup. So today I made one of my favorites “Three Sisters Soup” This is an adaptation of a traditional native american staple. The sisters are corn, beans and squash which they grow together, the corn provides support for the beans, the squash covers the ground and keeps the weeds down, and the beans put nitrogen back into the soil.
Here is a version of the recipe I make, although I seem to change it every time!
I have made my notes in italic, this is one of the best soups I have ever made!
Three Sisters Harvest Soup (Stew)
For some reason, all my healthy soups turn out split pea dark greenish brown. Not a very photogenic color, but apparently a sign of a soup with lots of healthy foods blended together.
This one started out as soup but sometimes I want it more like a stew, so have included both recipes here.
The three “sisters”:
2 cups Butternut squash cubed (or pumpkin or sweet potato**)
2 cups beans, any (precooked or low salt canned)
1 bag frozen corn
1 large onion
5 extra large cloves garlic
5 large carrots
2 large fresh tomatoes (I usually use a quart of stewed tomatoes)
1-pound mushrooms (You can skip the mushrooms if you don’t like them.)
1/2 pound spinach, chopped (or any greens, fresh or frozen, or skip them altogether)
Pepper, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, cilantro, or parsley
2-3 cups of other beans or lentils, I used black beans since we had them made
Additional vegetables such as green peas, diced carrots, more corn.
Reduce water slightly
Cube butternut squash, put in pan and roast at 350 degrees for 30 o 45 minutes or until soft (I have also put it right into the soup pot with other veggies). Use 2 cups for soup and freeze or use the rest for other recipes.
Put garlic cloves in a pan, rub with a scant amount of olive oil if desired but is not necessary, and bake the first 15 minutes of the squash’s baking time to roast the garlic (if desired). When cool, squeeze out the roasted garlic, dice, and add to medium low heated soup pot with 1 tsp olive oil or just a bit of water. Let cook while you prep the veggies. (I skipped this and put the garlic In with the rest of the veggies)
While the squash and garlic are baking, chop remaining veggies (carrots, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach).
Gather all the chopped veggies and add to soup pot with about 12 cups of water (or some veggie broth and water, but this kind of makes its own veggie broth with the onions, garlic, and carrots diced so fine and simmered for so long). Use slightly less water for stew, about 8-9 cups. (I often use a box of veggie broth)
When the squash is ready, add to soup, then add cooked beans and frozen corn. Simmer about 15 minutes more and serve.
I like to sprinkle some fresh cilantro and squeeze fresh lime over the soup when serving.