Voyageurs' Blog

Countdown to Canada 150 – The Iroquois 3 Sisters Soup

Posted: June 18, 2017 by Frank O'Connor

What is Three Sisters Soup you say? Well I first learned about Three Sisters Soup from a beautiful woman named Bertha Skye. Bertha was a Cree Indian from Saskatchewan, and a member of team Canada at the Culinary Olympics, held in Germany in 1992. Chef Bertha taught my students (I taught Grade 7 at another time in my life) about the delicious Three Sisters Soup.  Indigenous peoples showed the European settlers how to grow tall stalks of corn. Then they let the beans grow up and around the corn stalk, and the lowly squash settled in nicely down below against the ground. Bertha added chunks of ham to her version which made the already delicious soup even better.. Served with warm bannock bread smothered in butter – it is a true Iroquois treat.   Bertha was an amazing woman, Cree leader, Canadian and teacher.  I have not touched base with her in many years and remember her working with my students as if it were yesterday.  And by the way – the Canadian team won the Culinary Olympics that year with Bertha’s soup as an appetizer.