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This Instant Pot Soup is my spin on a Three Sisters Soup. Three Sisters refers to a companion planting technique used for planting beans, corn and squash together. This easy, healthy and delicious version uses crookneck squash, pinto beans, sweet corn, and the beautiful flavor of sage to tie it all together! This pressure cooker soup is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Read on to learn more about the Three Sisters, as well as find this wholesome Native American-inspired recipe!
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 Instant Pot 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 Vegan Instant Pot Soup pairs well with:
Other Vegan Soup Recipes you might enjoy:
If you try this recipe please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, share this post, use Pinterest’s “tried it” feature, or take a photo, & tag me on Instagram and I’ll share it! Thank you so much! <3
Instant Pot Three Sisters Soup Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan)
Author: Kristen Wood | 2-25-2019
- prep time: 10 minutes
- cook time: 35 minutes
- total time: 1 hour (this is to account for the pressure cooker coming to and releasing pressure)
Yields: 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tomato, 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
- Press the ‘Saute’ button on your Instant Pot. Add oil, pepper, garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in tomato, squash*(please see below), 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.
- Serving: 1 serving
- Fat: 4.3 grams
- Calories: 168
- Carbs: 27 grams
*A few readers stated that while they greatly enjoyed the flavors of the soup, they found the cooking time to be too much for the squash. We find cutting larger chunks of squash to work well, but if you would prefer to not have your squash on the softer side, throwing it into the hot broth at the end should be sufficient due to the tender nature of squash.
NOTE: Please see ‘Tips’ above in the blog post for suitable substitutions, storage advice and more!