What are The Three Sisters?
The “Three Sisters” refers to a companion planting technique attributed to the indigenous people of the Americas. It involves the planting of corn (maize), beans and squash in such a way that they support one another. Corn provides a steady vertical structure for the beans to climb, squash provides ground cover preventing weeds and keeping the soil out of too much sunlight. The three together provide a fertile and sustainable planting system as well as a wonderful food source of complex carbohydrates, protein, fatty acids, vitamins and nutrients. Needless to say, it’s a beautiful & inspiring combination and mighty tasty when used in recipes together, too!
This Three Sisters Soup is:
High in protein, fiber, vitamins and nutrients.
Hearty, filling and nourishing. Ultimate comfort food!
Versatile (see notes below), and makes AMAZING leftovers.
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free.
Tips for making Three Sisters Soup:
I recommend soaking the pinto beans for three hours prior for the best results, BUT in a pinch, dried pinto beans that have not been soaked WILL work without adjusting cooking time.
Bean substitutions that will work without adjusting time: navy beans, Great Northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans and even chickpeas will work as a great substitute for the pinto beans.
Instead of crookneck squash, zucchini can be used.
Any fresh, frozen or canned corn variety works well in this recipe. If you use canned, I highly recommend an organic non-GMO version without the use of BPA lining in the cans or any added sugar or preservatives like this one.
Instead of using a fresh tomato, you can use 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes instead, or omit altogether is you prefer.
This recipe was created and tested using a 6 quart Instant Pot so I cannot attest to how well it works in an Instant Pot mini or 8 quart (though I think it will work just fine). If you try this recipe out in one of those, I would love to hear your experience down below in the comments!
On a sugar-free diet? The honey can be omitted or you can replace with a honey-alternative such as this one.
This recipe stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can reheat it on the stove top over medium-low heat until warmed throughout or by using the saute feature on your Instant Pot.
This IP soups is great topped with pumpkin seeds, served with bread or crackers or simply AS IS!
This Vegetarian Summer Soup pairs well with:
Other Vegan Soup Recipes you might enjoy:
Three Sisters Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 to mato diced
- 3 yellow crookneck summer squash, chopped (larger pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups sweet corn frozen, fresh, or canned
- 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 red chili flakes
- 1 cup dry pinto beans soaked for 3 hours prior
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- sea salt to taste
- Optional to garnish: pumpkin seeds
Instant Pot Instructions
- Press the ‘Saute’ button on your Instant Pot. Add oil, pepper, garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in tomato, squash, and corn. Saute for 1 minute longer.
- Press ‘Cancel’. Stir in spices, broth/water, and pinto beans.
- Cook on manual high pressure for 35 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before opening the vent.
- Stir in maple syrup/honey and apple cider vinegar. Salt to taste.
- Optionally, garnish with pumpkin seeds before serving.
- In a large pot over medium heat add oil, pepper and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add tomato, squash, corn, sage, ancho chile powder, coriander, optional red chili flakes, beans, and broth/water.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 50 minutes, or until beans are tender, adding more water/broth as needed to maintain soup consistency.
- Turn off heat, then stir in maple syrup/honey and vinegar. Salt to taste. Top with pumpkin seeds, if using, before serving.