This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Nov 27, 2022

Three Sisters Soup

This amazing three sisters soup is a nutritious mixture of vegetables that, combined, are so satisfying and filling. 

Three Sisters Soup with Cilantro garnish in a white bowl.

You will fall in love with the flavors of this Three Sisters Soup and will definitely want a big bowlful. 

Plus, depending in the season, you can take advantage of the ingredients available in the freezer, canned food, and fresh produce aisles of your grocery store to create this amazing soup. 

Two white bowls of Three Sisters Soup.

There is no single authentic recipe for three sisters soup, but all of the variations include the "three sisters," which are corn, beans, and squash. 

Origins of Three Sisters Soup:

Three sisters soup or stew is borne of an agricultural technique of companion planting, growing the three crops together. 

Corn provides the the climbing "trellis," squash, which grows on the ground, provides the mulch and weed prevention, and beans provide the nitrogen that is needed by the soil. 

Plus, eating a combination of the three sisters provides a completely nutritious vegetable dish. Corn needs nitrogen, which beans provide, and the winter squash is super high in vitamin A. 

I've seen the soup or stew, as well as the planting method mentioned in reference to the Chikasaw Nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokees, and the Iroquois, where corn, beans, and squash show up as part of the creation story and are considered sacred plants. 

Three Sisters Soup in a white bowl.

If you like, you can actually serve the vegetables from this soup as a plated side dish by using a slotted spoon to drain them from the broth.  Just call them "braised mixed vegetables." 

Ingredients In this Three Sisters Soup:

Most of the ingredients in this soup are native to the Western Hemisphere. 

Potatoes - I used petite yellow potatoes, but any potatoes will do. 

Chicken stock - if you'd like to stay true to Native American ingredients, use turkey, goose, or duck broth. 

Tomatoes - for this soup, I used canned Ro-tel, which is a combination of tomatoes and chiles, both native to the Western Hemisphere. 

Corn - you can either use fresh corn or frozen. If you have fresh corn, three to four ears is the right amount. Otherwise, use a 10- to 12-ounce package of frozen corn kernels. 

Squash - I used delicata squash for this soup. It doesn't require peeling and is my favorite winter squash. Feel free to substitute butternut, acorn, pumpkin, or any other winter squash. Just be sure to peel it. 

If you'd rather try summer squash such as zucchini, add it when you add the corn, not when you add the potatoes. 

Beans - I used a combination of black, pinto, and kidney beans. You could also use lima beans or white beans if you prefer. 

Jalapeño chiles - chiles are another ingredient that are native to the western hemisphere. 

Additional ingredients - olive oil, onion, garlic, and cumin, all ingredients that have Middle Eastern and Meditteranean roots. 

Three Sisters Soup in a red oval Dutch oven.

This hearty vegetable soup is very easy to make and comes together in less than an hour. 

Recipe Variations:

You can turn this soup into a meat-based stew by adding a protein such as venison, bison, lamb, or turkey meat. In fact, after Thanksgiving, I combined some of this leftover soup with leftover turkey meat. It was delicious. 

If you prefer, you can also use vegetable stock as a base for those who prefer not to consume meat-based stock. 

Three Sisters Soup in two bowls.

Leftovers of this soup keep really well in the refrigerator. In fact, the flavors seem to meld over time and the soup begins to taste even better. 

More Vegetable Soups You May Also Like:

Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Finnish Summer Soup

Tomato and Bread Soup

Cream of Spinach Soup

Leek and Celery Root Soup

Swiss Chard and White Bean Soup

Alphabet Soup

Three Sisters Soup in a white bowl.

Welcome to this week's Sunday Funday. We are sharing recipes in honor of Native American Heritage Month:  

  • Paganens (Algonquin Wild Nut Soup) by A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash by Amy’s Cooking Adventures
  • Three Sisters Soup by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Wojape, a Cranberry-Rosehip Sauce by Culinary Cam

  • Three Sisters Soup in a white bowl

    Three Sisters Soup

    Three Sisters Soup
    Yield: 12 servings
    Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
    Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 50 Min
    This amazing three sisters soup is a nutritious mixture of vegetables that, combined, are so satisfying and filling.


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 pound baby yellow potatoes, washed and quartered
    • 1 delicata squash, split in half, seeded, and diced into 3/4 inch pieces
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 48 ounce box chicken stock
    • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles (Ro-tel Original or Mild), undrained
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
    • Corn kernels from 3-4 ears of corn, or 1 10- to 12- ounce bag frozen corn kernels
    • 1 14-ounce can mixed black, pinto, and kidney beans (or one can of beans of your choice) drained and rinsed
    • Salt to taste
    • Handful of cilantro or parsley leaves for optional garnish


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook them, stirring regularly, for five minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an addtional minute or two.
    2. Add the potatoes, squash, chili powder, and ground cumin and cook, stiring for two to three minutes.
    3. Add the broth and the can of tomatoes and stir. Add the black pepper and minced jalapeño, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes, until the potatoes and squash are cooked through.
    4. Add the corn and beans, cover the pot, and simmer for five minutes.
    5. Taste for salt (I added very little) and serve. Garnish with optional cilantro or parsley.

    Nutrition Facts



    Fat (grams)


    Sat. Fat (grams)


    Carbs (grams)


    Fiber (grams)


    Net carbs


    Sugar (grams)


    Protein (grams)


    Sodium (milligrams)


    Cholesterol (grams)

    soup, vegetables
    American Indian
    Did you make this recipe?
    Tag on instagram and hashtag it # karenskitchenstories

    How to stay up to date with Karen's Kitchen Stories? 

    Be sure to follow me on Facebook. Do you like taking photos of the food you make? You can also join my Facebook food photo sharing group (you don't have to be a blogger).

    While you’re here please take a minute to follow me on Pinterest. I’m always pinning great recipes from fellow bloggers.

    Check out my Amazon Store for some of my kitchen toys. 

    Finally, please follow me on Instagram. It’s a great way to stay up to date on all the latest and greatest blog recipes.

    Would you like to comment?

    I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.