Thursday, November 19, 2009

North America - Three Sisters Soup

The Three Sisters - A Native American Legend

A long time ago there were three sisters who lived together in a field.These sisters were quite different from one another in their size and way of dressing. The little sister was so young that she could only crawl at first, and she was dressed in green.

The second sister wore a bright yellow dress, and she had a way of running off by herself when the sun shone and the soft wind blew in her face.

The third was the eldest sister, standing always very straight and tall above the other sisters and trying to protect them. She wore a pale green shawl, and she had long, yellow hair that tossed about her head in the breeze.

There was one way the sisters were all alike, though. They loved each other dearly, and they always stayed together. This made them very strong.
One day a stranger came to the field of the Three Sisters - a Mohawk boy. He talked to the birds and other animals - this caught the attention of the three sisters.
Late that summer, the youngest and smallest sister disappeared. Her sisters were sad.
Again the Mohawk boy came to the field to gather reeds at the water's edge. The two sisters who were left watched his moccasin trail, and that night the second sister - the one in the yellow dress - disappeared as well.
Now the Elder Sister was the only one left.
She continued to stand tall in her field. When the Mohawk boy saw that she missed her sisters, he brought them all back together and they became stronger together, again.

                        Three Sisters Soup

                                                     (Serves about 4 as a main dish)

1 acorn and/or butternut squash, cut into wedges, drizzled w/ olive oil, sprinkled with salt and roasted (325*, 30 minutes)
1 onion, diced
2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
a couple garlic cloves, minced
5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces and sauteed until crispy
1 to 2 C. frozen or fresh corn, roasted in dry saute pan until slightly brown
1 30 oz. can pinto beans
4-5 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 tsp each: dried ginger, allspice, sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
2-3 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs (thyme, sage,parsley, or cilantro would be great)
salt and pepper to taste
While you are roasting the acorn squash wedges in the oven,  begin sauteing onions in an oiled pan over medium low heat.  Stir occasionally, until slightly brown, then stir in garlic and fresh ginger.  

Cook for one more minute, then add stock, beans, roasted corn and bacon.  Increase heat and simmer while you finish the squash.
When the squash is tender, and then cool enough to handle, cut the skin off  and cube squash into bites-size pieces.  Add to the pot and let the flavors  marry as it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and add herbs and spices.  Let simmer for at least 20 minutes.

For instructions on growing your own three sisters garden click  here.

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