“Three Sisters” Squash Soup {Vegetarian}

by Chrissy

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What is “Three Sisters” you ask? In the Native American culture, squash, corn and beans are known together as the “three sisters”. I bet they don’t fight like sisters, though. They are all perfect complements to one another.

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I don’t know if you have ever had the pleasure of enjoying “Three Sisters” Stew, but it is quite tasty. The Whole Foods nearby, introduced the two of us and we’ve been great friends ever since.

This is the soupy version, because I was feeling like a toasty warm brothy, yet hearty, soup to heat me up. Although if you wanted to go with the original stew version, there is a note in the directions, below, on how to do that.

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I refuse to turn the heat on–since it’s not like we are in the Polar Vortex or anything, thank goodness—so I can hardly justify running the heat when it’s been 75 degrees out.

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But with that said, it is winter, and I’d like to think that it IS cold enough, even in Southern California, to enjoy a steaming cup of soup.

I think my favorite part about this soup, is the natural sweetness from the butternut squash and corn, mixed with the subtle hint of cinnamon. None of the original recipe I looked at had cinnamon, but when I was recipe testing, it just felt like it needed a little hint of something, and cinnamon did just the trick as an aromatic and flavor-booster!

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You really can’t go wrong with this type of meal. Tons of healthy veggies, nutrients and protein from the added beans. And if vegetarian ain’t yo thang, you can easily make this with chicken broth and add some shredded chicken to the mix.

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“Three Sisters” Squash Soup

Print Recipe!

Serves 8-10


1 large butternut squash, about 4 cups, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced in larger pieces

1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid

2 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 14.5 ounce cans) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups corn kernels (from 2 large ears of corn, or frozen)

1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chilies

6 cups low sodium vegetable stock

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

dash of cinnamon (only a touch!)

1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, chopped



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large pot and add the onions to sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and butternut squash and continue to sauté for another couple minutes.

Add all of the remaining ingredients (except for the parsley), and bring to a boil. Drop the heat to low and let simmer, covered, until all of the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste to check seasonings and add more salt or spices, if desired.

If time allows, let soup simmer for another 30-40 minutes; the flavors will be better developed. But, if you are in a hurry, once the vegetables are cooked through it is ready to eat. Just before serving, stir in the parsley.

If more broth is desired, you can add more vegetable stock or water; however this soup is typically prepared as a stew, so less broth is used (only about 1 cup for the whole dish).

Serve and garnish with more parsley, if desired.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


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