I’ve been in total soup mode lately. Soup, stew, chili, you name it, I want it. I don’t think I’m fully alone with my soup love as P whipped up a batch of chick-un soup on the weekend that was mighty tasty. You may not know this about him, but P can cook, like really well, no foolin’. I’m pretty sure that if it wasn’t for him I would still be eating boxes of Kraft Dinner. Lucky for the both of us, I’ve surpassed my KD eating days, and can now make soup!…among other things. But not of the chick-un variety as I’m pretty sure that one came from our southern friends. It’s kind of a shame there aren’t more traditional Canadian soups, but we do have one I can pass along, one that includes beans, squash and corn, one the Aboriginal people of Canada call the Three Sisters.
Not constrained to Canada alone, you can find variations of Three Sisters Soup all over north America as squash, maize and beans were the three major companion crops of many Native American groups. The premise of the soup is pretty basic with it mainly consisting of stock, corn, squash and beans, so I fancied it up a bit without straying too far from the original. Any winter squash will do, pumpkin, acorn, buttercup, etc., I chose butternut since I happen to have some in my freezer, although I gotta say, fresh is always better. I decided to kick up the flavors by adding some herbs and then threw in some black beans for a little extra protein. Oh, and salt, I thought it was a little weird that this recipe had no salt whatsoever, but maybe that was due to the butter? Who knows, but either way, I added salt because a little salt makes everything better.
THREE SISTERS SOUP
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cups Yukon potatoes, cut into 1/2 “ cubes
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups corn
- 1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
- 1 cup black beans
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil, onion, celery and carrot. Sauté until vegetables soften, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, than mix in thyme. Add the butternut squash, potatoes, corn green beans and black beans into the pot, and pour in the vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil, than reduce heat to low, and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Blend cornstarch into the water, then stir into the soup. Increase heat to medium, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until soup thickens. Season with pepper, and serve.