Three Sisters Soup, have you ever hear of it? Eaten it? Would you try it?

@writersedge (22579)
United States
March 31, 2011 11:43am CST
Three Sisters Soup is a Native American soup made with beans, squash (or pumpkin) and corn. Mine tastes bland due to the lack of salt in it. Black pepper doesn't do much for it either. So what spices or herbs would go well in this soup, do you think? What else would you ad?
3 people like this
8 responses
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
31 Mar 11
Hello writer. This soup sounds good to me but since you said it tasted bland I might add some pumpkin pie spice. Then maybe I would also add hot sauce to give it some zing. I like to add it to flat tasting dishes to give the dish a boost. Not enough to make it spicy hot but just enough to give it some zing.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
31 Mar 11
It's bland because I used salt free ingredients and just plain everything. I would have never thought of pumpkin pie spice. I'd be tempted to add some brown sugar and milk to it then. I don't have any hot sauce right now. Good idea for the future, but maybe some hot pepper flakes because I do have those. I would probably use one or the other, pumpkin pie stuff or hot pepper flakes. I'm going to try something different in each bowl I make, so I think it will be gooed to see what works best. Thanks and take care.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
31 Mar 11
For me pumpkin is another squash and I don't care my vegetables to be sweet and like my pumpkin to not be swet either, I prefer butter and salt and pepper in mine. but also need to watch out for too much salt.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (89960)
• Marion, Kansas
1 Apr 11
I looked at various recipes online. Some use pepper flakes, all seem to use onions. I saw sage as an ingredient. I like the idea of the pumpkin pie spice, as well. Of course that brings me to my butternut squash soup. It has ginger--supposed to be fresh, but I chop a piece or two of candied ginger in it. Instead of the acorn flour you were mentioning for cooking, see about getting some chestnut flour. Again, my squash soup is done in vegetable broth, and has chestnuts in it. Could be because I got the recipe at a chestnut roast. I have one butternut squash left, I may put some beans and corn in my next pot of soup.
1 person likes this
@peavey (15856)
• United States
31 Mar 11
I would add onion and chicken stock. I think the onion would add enough flavor and if that didn't do it, I'd add garlic. I've never eaten soup like that, but I do love winter squash soup and I suspect it's similar in flavor.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Mar 11
Peavey beat me to it..Whenever I make my bean soup I always add chicken or even vegetable broth to give it more flavor..:P
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
31 Mar 11
I'll see what I can do. I've gotten some great ideas above that you might want to check out. Every time we had a gathering, someone used to make that soup and it was really good. Thanks and take care.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
31 Mar 11
Below is a Native American site with a cooking section. What fun I will have now!
• United States
31 Mar 11
This sounds similar to a soup my husbands Grandfather makes that he just refers to as Mom's soup. She was part Mohawk so it could be the same or close as I do not know what tribe this soup is from. In this version the three ingredients you mention are used along with a venison broth made from roasted bones, onion, garlic as well as salt and pepper, I use whole peppercorns when I make mine. If you do not want to do that or can't find it I am sure beef or chicken broth would work just fine or maybe turkey. Yum I love soup..he he he
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
31 Mar 11
Since our area has lots of Mohawks and I think the soup was generally made anywhere that the 3 sisters could grow, that makes sense. I'll have to save my broth from venison when I get some. Onion and garlic are good, pepper felt like it still needed something and under no circumstances can I add salt. Most broths, unless you make them yourself are loaded with sodium, so I have to make them myself and salt-free. We have one company up here that makes no salt-added broth, but it is $2.00 a can right now. When it goes down and I have more money, then I'll buy a case and keep it in the basement. Glad to hear of a traditional way to make this soup that is still being done. I love soup, too. To each bowl of the plain stuff I'm making, I'm trying to add a little of what each person suggests. That way, since I'm the only one that eats it, every bowl will be a different flavor. So I'll cook some meat with bones and add the broth to the soup at some point soon. Thanks it sounds good. Take care.
@GardenGerty (89960)
• Marion, Kansas
1 Apr 11
The recipe I liked best on another site stated that the six tribes of the coast area--so I am guessing that is your direction, make this soup, but also the tribes of the four corners area--New Mexico,area also make it. It is a complete protein, even if made vegan, no meat bones. It would definitely be a staple for survival.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
1 Apr 11
6 Nations of the Iroquois are my area. But many tribes came up here to be protected by them, small bands of Cherokee for a short time and others, they also have some people who make this soup.
@celticeagle (113972)
• Boise, Idaho
1 Apr 11
No, I haven't try this and probably wouldn't. I don't care for squash, pumpkin(escept in pit) or corn. I think a bay leaf or four would bring a nice flavor to the soup. Ginger might be good. I think I might add an onion. Lima beans might even be good. Cinnamon or nutmeg, depending on what flavor you want to get.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
1 Apr 11
I don't have any bay leaves or lima beans right now. Wish I did, those sound like really good ideas. You're the 2nd person to suggest ginger and I think the pumpkin pie spice suggestion would cover the cinnamon or nutmeg. Onion, I added. Everything is better with an onion. I guess if the only thing you like is beans out of the three, it wouldn't do you much good to try it. I'm glad I like everything except cooked spinach and split pea soup. Even cooked spinach, I'll eat in lasagna where I can't taste it. Thanks for the suggestions. I have enough soup to try different things in each bowl I eat, so I'll get to these, if not today, then tomorrow. Tomorrow, I either have to finish it or freeze the rest. Thanks and take care.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (113972)
• Boise, Idaho
1 Apr 11
That's interesting. I just went with what you described and what came to me as I read it. Yes, onions do add to anything don't they. We get sweet onion from Walla, Walla Washington here that are my favorite. WIll be interested in hearing which you like. I love butter lima beans. Yum! Haven't had any in years. Can't find them.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Apr 11
Oh butter lima beans are the best. The last time we had some, they were in a can that said butter limas on it and the time before frozen mixed lima beans had some butter ones besides the regular ones. Really stood out. We're in total agreement on the butter limas. Haven't seen any in a while either, I think they're seasonal and they may have had a bad year or maybe even imported? Have to check the next time I go to a store. We get all kinds of onions here. We get Vadallias from down south. Sooo sweet. Thanks and take care.
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12059)
• United States
1 Apr 11
You need a richer stock to make the soup from. Your soup isn't bland from a lack of salt, just a lack of flavor. I almost never cook with salt and my food is never bland, in fact the opposite is true.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Apr 11
So what would be a richer stock?
@Canellita (12059)
• United States
2 Apr 11
Well, it depends on what you are using already, but you can make a vegetable stock first by using peelings and scraps you would otherwise discard. You might have to experiment a bit to find flavors to your liking, or you could also use a purchased stock. Garlic and onion and other herbs are good for adding flavor to foods without the need for salt, but everything is a matter of taste. Personally, I would stay away from a fish or animal based stock for this particular soup, but you might want to try chicken stock.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Apr 11
Thanks, I have vegetarian vegetable cubes that are minimal salt. I don't use peelings because so many fruits and veggies this time of year are covered with pesticides and/or parafin wax. Not much is organic right now in my area and I can't afford that anyway, twice what everything else costs. Until my husband's first paycheck, . . ... Tried garlic and onion today, not bad, but the sage and thyme tastes really good and is traditional with wild sage and wild thyme, I found out on the website suggested for Native American cooking.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
2 Apr 11
That sounds very good but I have never tried it. I might put some rosemary in it with some pork stock. That might flavor it up a bit. Maybe even use a ham hock in there...lol...that the southern answer to flavor I guess...
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Apr 11
Strangely enough, we have lots of pork right now. Three meals of pork in the freezer and one of chicken. I was just telling my husband about that. 2nd person on the rosemary. I did try the song with suggestion on the top up there, wasn't bad. Starting to get more suggestions than I have soup to try, but I'll try to give everything a shot, just need smaller bowls now! Thanks and take care.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
2 Apr 11
Can't do ham, way, way, way tooo much salt in ham. Big, no, no.
@GardenGerty (89960)
• Marion, Kansas
1 Apr 11
I would put some lemon in it. And a little hot sauce perhaps. I like cumin in a lot of things as well. What kind of beans did you use? I had not heard of this as a soup, but earlier this year either saw on television or online the philosophy of three sisters planting. You plant corn with beans to climb it and squash or pumpkin to cover the ground and suffocate the weeds.Hubby said they ate it in Rhode Island. He says put Worcestershire sauce in it.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
1 Apr 11
I have enough soup and I'm the only one that eats it to try all the suggestions so far. I may get too many and run out of soup, but not so far. Yes, I'd like to plant the three together this year. I tried last year, but we kept having frosts and so much rain, everything froze or drowned and then I ran out of seeds and money. Wild food and perenials to the rescue. I don't have much luck with stuff that is one season, esp. the last three years with crazy amounts of rain and repeated late frosts. I almost need to plant in July, but with early October or late September frosts, they'd die at the end. I'd rather have them die in the beginning.Here's hoping thngs go better this year. Black beans, low salt canned corn and frozen squash. That's what I used. I ran out of no salt canned corn and a neighbor friend had some low salt to loan me. I don't think I have any cumin rightnow. I know I don't have lemon except for the baking extract. I have Worcestershire sauce. Since all my $ are going to pay bills, esp. medical bills, I pretty much have to use what I have.
@dreamy1 (3818)
• United States
31 Mar 11
Sounds like succotash. I'm not a big soup maker but I love garlic so maybe that would make it more flavorful.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
31 Mar 11
Succotash usually has lima beans and corn. It can have other beans. Squash is usually not in the picture (just double-checked) although any veggie and any type of bean can be added. But usually it has more of a consistancy of hash than soup. I just added some garlic before checking this post. It helps a little bit, it probably needs to sit to let the flavor go through it. It still seems like it needs something. I like succotash because I like lima beans and corn. I used what I had on hand, black beans, canned corn, and frozen squash. Thanks, I think it was a good suggestion. Take care