Traditional Métis homes are well known for a pot of soup simmering on the stove, and a pot of tea ready for family and visitors. Oven-baked Bannock was a staple bread and eaten fresh as food did not sit for long in a large Métis family. Extra wild meat was always shared in the community and borrowing of staple food products was a common practice. It is often said that the communal lifestyle of the Métis was disrupted by the introduction of electricity and freezers into the Métis communities. Hoarding of food was unnatural, not practical and unheard of.
Métis soups have survived throughout the centuries. Besides being a time-honored comfort food for Métis families, Métis soup can heal, and prevent many illnesses by incorporating all kinds of nutritious foods in a single pot. Soup bones, fish, beans, barley, rice, peas, root vegetables, onions, tomatoes, macaroni, are some of the ingredients used in Métis soups and recipes exist only for combinations not measured amounts.
To feed unexpected visitors, the Métis simply added more to the soup pot. The old sayings, “You are what you eat,” and “let food be your medicine and medicine your food,” will bring to mind the old Métis soup pot simmering on the stove.
Just a few of the traditional food include:
- Li Gallette (Bannock)
- Les Boulettes (Meatballs)
- Les Tortiere (Meat Pie)
- Soupe au Pois> (Pea Soup)
- Soupe au Bin (Bean Soup)
For some excellent recipes, please visit the Louis Riel Institute at http://www.louisrielinstitute.com/culture/recipes.php. You can also do a search on any web search site (i.e. www.google.ca) and enter “Métis Recipes”.