Three Sisters Soup


Three Sisters refers to the practice of growing corn, beans, and squash together. Many different tribes of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas knew that when grown together these crops nourished and supported each other.

Corn provides a structure for the beans to climb while the squash plant spreads out and acts as a ground cover providing mulch and preserving moisture in the soil. Corn needs nitrogen while beans provide nitrogen to the soil in which it grows. Growing the Three Sisters’ together provided for better productivity and sustainable land use. 

And these crops were not only grown together, enjoyed together these crops provide a complete nutritional package with carbohydrates from the corn, protein from the beans, and essential vitamins and minerals from the squash.

This ancient tradition inspired us to pair these foods together into an easy vegan soup recipe that just happens to be both nutritious and delicious. With the addition of Garlic, Ancho Powder, Cumin, and Off the Avenue Seasoning, the sweetness of the squash and corn as well as the savoriness of the beans are heightened and made all that much more yummy! 

Meal Prep this soup for lunch, use it as a starter for a more hearty meal, or eat as is! We enjoy it with tortillas for dipping or with tortilla chips crumbled on top. Sometimes we swirl a bit of sour cream into our bowls of soup.



Minced Dried Garlic.

We use quite a bit of garlic as its strong flavors balance well with the rest of the soup. If using fresh garlic, you will need 2 cloves of garlic.


Cumin adds a nutty warmth with a bit of smokiness to this soup which pairs nicely with the corn and squash.

Off the Avenue.

Off the Avenue is one of SpiceTopia’s signature Ventura Spices. This blend includes cumin, cayenne, and habanero sugar. For many of our customers, this rub is their go-to for grilling large cuts of meat. We think it works just as well on butternut squash. This is a spicy blend, so we suggest starting with just a teaspoon!

Ancho Chile Powder.

Our organic Ancho Chili Powder has the fruity and sweet, yet slightly smoky mild heat and adds a nice smoky note to this soup recipe.

Find all these spices along with more than 100 more at SpiceTopia!

Corn. Of course, fresh corn is always best. If using fresh corn, you’ll need about 1 – 2 ears of corn. If fresh corn isn’t in season, frozen corn works well in this recipe. Canned corn will work if it is all you have. Keep in mind that canned corn has quite a bit of salt in it, so keep that in mind when adding salt to this soup recipe. 

Butternut Squash. This recipe calls for 3 cups of diced butternut squash, which is about one medium squash. Butternut squash can be intimidating to peel and dice. We suggest poking a few holes in the squash and then microwaving for just a few minutes to make it easier to cut into. As an alternative, peeled and diced butternut squash is available in the produce section at almost any supermarket, cutting down your prep time considerably! 

Beans. This recipe calls for both black beans and pinto beans. Feel free to use any beans you’d like for this recipe. We use canned beans but if you’d like to cook up a pot of beans from dried beans that will work as well. One can of beans equals approximately 2 cups of prepared beans.

Onion. This recipe calls for 1/2 diced onion. When you see that a recipe calls for one onion, the standard onion measurement is one cup of diced onions. Yellow, brown, or white onion will work in this recipe. 

Oil. This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of oil to saute the onion and butternut squash. We use an olive oil blend, but just about any neutral flavored oil will work. 

Tomato Sauce. The tomato sauce brings this soup together. If you have some nice juicy fresh tomatoes, feel free to use them instead. Dice the fresh tomatoes fine and add them the last few minutes of sauteing the onions and butternut squash.

Lime. A squeeze or two of lime just before serving adds just the right touch of acid cutting through the richness of this soup. 

Water. You’ll notice this recipe calls for water instead of stock or broth. If you have some homemade amazing broth or stock, then use it! Adding chicken stock to many recipes is simply a marketing ploy to sell more chicken stock or broth. Most recipes that call for it can be made simply with water. 


It is easy to make Three Sisters’ Soup. Just a few hints to make the process go easier:

  • Prepare everything ahead of time, so you won’t need to worry about chopping or measuring out an ingredient when it is time to add it.
  • Bloom (or cook in oil) your spices. After sauteing the onions and butternut squash until the onions are translucent, push them to the edges of the pan. Splash in a touch more oil if the pan looks dry. Then add your spices and cook just until the garlic and cumin is fragrant. Then stir the spices into the onions and butternut squash. 
  • Deglaze the pan with the water. The bottom of your pan will most likely have a lot of brown. That brown is the carmalized sugars from the squash and has a ton of flavor. As you pour the water in stir pushing your spoon up against the bottom of your soup pot. This is deglazing and will add all that flavor to your soup. 
  • Cook just until the squash is fork-tender. 
  • Remove from the heat,add lime juice, and taste for seasoning. You may want to add more lime juice and more salt.

That’s it. This recipe is pretty straightforward. With just a bit of effort and time, you’ll have a pot of delicious Three Sisters’ Soup!

Let’s Get Cooking!

0 Add to Favorites
Difficulty: Beginner
Servings: 4


A rich hearty soup recipe based on the three sisters crops of the Native American Peoples. Corn, squash, and beans come together with spices to create a delicious vegan soup.



  1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, saute onions and butternut squash with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground Tellicherry Pepper  in 2 teaspoons of oil until onions are transparent. 

    Stir often and turn down the heat if your onions start to brown.

  2. When onions are translucent, push onions and butternut squash to the edges of your soup pot. Add a splash of additional oil if your pot is dry. Add Minced Garlic, Ground Cumin Seed, Ancho Chile Powder, and Off the Avenue Seasoning. Stir into the oil and cook until you smell the garlic and cumin (about 1 minute). Stir the spices into the onions and butternut squash.

  3. Add the water. Stir while scraping the bottom of the pot being sure to scrape up anything that has browned at the bottom of the pot.

  4. Add the butternut squash, tomato sauce, and beans. 

    Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to low. Cook for 15 or 20 minutes or until the butternut squash are fork tender.

  5. Add the lime juice. Taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning for salt and lime juice.

    Remove from heat and stir in the corn.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @spicetopia on Instagram and Hastag it #spicetopia so we can see all your recipes.

Pin this recipe and share it with your followers.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *