The “Three Sisters” are corn, beans and squash, which were grown together by American Indians. The beans climbed on the corn stalks and returned nitrogen to the soil, and the low-growing squash vines shaded all the roots and kept weeds from sprouting. They can all be combined in one pot of delicious soup!

3 pounds winter squash (such as acorn or hubbard) or pie pumpkin
3 small onions, chopped
3 cups water or bouillon
3 heaping teaspoons mild chili powder or 3 tablespoons Southwestern Spice Paste
3 cans (16-19 ounces) cannelini or other white beans, undrained
3 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions for garnish (optional)

Pierce the squash with a knife in 2 or 3 places. Set in a microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of the bouillon to a boil, add the onions and cook 5- 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the bouillon, the Southwestern Spice Blend and simmer gently until the squash is ready. Stir the squash pieces into the soup and cook until the squash is tender. Add the canned beans; mash the beans and squash slightly to thicken the soup. (You can puree it in a blender if you want a really smooth consistency.) Add the lima beans and simmer 10 minutes or until the beans are tender. Stir in the corn, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with chopped chives or green onions, if desired.

6-8 servings