The Three Sisters Vegetable Soup
Recipe type: Warm main entree. HACCP Process 2, same day service
Cuisine: This soup is representative of a traditional Native American stew consisting of squash, corn, and beans. These crops are known as the Three Sisters because of the Native American tradition of planting them together in the garden.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25
This is a summer CACFP recipe featuring Corn, Green Beans, Summer Squash, and Hot Peppers and an autumn recipe for Butternut Squash.
CACFP Crediting Information: ⅔ cup (a No. 6 scoop) provides Legume as Meat Alternate: 1½ oz. equivalent meat/meat alternate and ¼ cup vegetable OR Legume as Vegetable ¼ oz. meat and ½ cup vegetable.
Cooking and prep level: Intermediate.
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 lb Ground beef, at least 90% lean, raw, fresh or frozen
  • 12.5 oz Onion, ¼" diced
  • 8 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup Jalapeno pepper, seeds and veins removed, minced
  • 12.5 oz local Butternut squash, ½" cubed
  • 4 oz local Green beans, fresh, cut into ½" pieces
  • 4 oz Corn kernels, frozen or fresh, local blanched and cut from the cobs
  • ⅛ cup Thyme leaves, dried
  • 8 oz local Summer squash, yellow and zucchini combined, unpeeled, ½" diced
  • 2 lbs + 14 oz Kidney beans, low-sodium, canned, rinsed, drained or kidney beans, dry, cooked
  • 12.5 oz Tomato sauce, canned
  • 12.5 oz Tomatoes, canned, diced with juice
  • 1 cup Water
  1. Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 12-15 minutes. Drain. Critical Control Point: Heat 165°F or higher for at least 15 seconds.
  3. If cooking on stove-top, add to a large stockpot: browned beef, onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, butternut squash, green beans, corn, and thyme. If using a slow cooker, put all ingredients in an 8 to 8½ qt. slow cooker.
  4. For 25 servings, add ½ cup of water. For 50 servings, add 1 cup of water. Stir well. Cover and cook: 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. See slow cooker safety tips below.
  5. Cook for 4-6 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onions and pepper are tender.
  6. Add summer squash, zucchini, kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, and water. Stir well. Bring to a boil uncovered.
  7. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for an additional 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir often. Critical Control Point: Heat to 140°F or higher for 15 seconds.
  8. Serve ⅔ cup (a No. 6 scoop).
  9. Critical Control Point: Hold at 140°F or higher.

Recipe by Illinois Harvest of the Month at