This soup uses the three sisters, corn, lima beans and sugar pumpkin with buttermilk, maple syrup and mint. Feel free to vary the milk with cream if you want a more sumptuous, even creamier version...but the pumpkin and corn both add a favorful thickness to the soup; it is far healthier this way, too. This soup ages well after these simple flavors settle. For a little heat contrast to the cooling mint, you can add a southwestern flare with a bit of chopped hot or aleppo pepper. —Sagegreen
sweet red onion, chopped
chopped haberno pepper,or 1 tbl. chopped jalapeno pepper, or sprinkle of aleppo pepper, optional heat
sugar pumpkin, cut up and peeled
baby lima beans
real maple syrup, to taste
organic whole milk (or your alternative choice)
corn kernels cut off the cob, shoepeg or silver queen preferred
kosher salt, to taste
fresh milled white pepper, to taste
fresh ground nutmeg, to taste
fresh mint leaves
sprinkle of nutmeg as garnish
dollops of Greek yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, or crumpled feta, optional
Soak the lima beans in water overnight. Discard the water. Saute the red onions in a Dutch oven or heavy pan; cook them with the butter for 1-2 minutes and let them sweat. If you want a bit of heat add some finely chopped hot pepper or aleppo. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add the diced pumpkin and lima beans. Bring to a slow simmer for 10 minutes or so. Lower the heat.
Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, nutmeg, one rolled and snipped large mint leaf, and the maple syrup and heat gently.
Season with salt and pepper; simmer about 10 minutes.
Then add the corn; continue to simmer slowly (@ 10 minutes). This can be eaten first day or let sit overnight for enhanced flavor.
Serve with a garnish of mint leaves, ground nutmeg, and optional dollops of sour cream, fage, creme fraiche or crumpled feta. Toasted pumpkin seeds are another optional garnish.