PREP: 10 minutes | COOK: 40 minutes | YIELD: 8 x 1-cup servings

This soup is thick and creamy thanks to the beans, which also lend a healthy dose of protein and fiber. It is also a great make-ahead dish: If you blend it ahead of time, all you have to do is heat and eat when hunger strikes. See below for an additional time-saving trick.

1 butternut squash, about 3 lbs (1.36 kg), halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out

Eat-Clean Cooking Spray (see Supportive Recipes)

1 tsp (5 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 tsp (5 ml) herbes de Provence

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups cooked, drained and rinsed or 1 x 15-oz (440 ml) can cannellini beans or white kidney beans

1½ cups (360 ml) low-fat milk, plain unsweetened soy milk, almond milk or other milk substitute

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) ground cumin

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch cayenne

½ tsp (2.5 ml) sea salt

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) pepper

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray the flesh of the squash with Eat-Clean Cooking Spray and place on a baking sheet, flesh side down. Bake until tender when pierced with a skewer, about 40 minutes. Remove and let cool until comfortable to handle.

While the squash cools, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add onion and herbes de Provence, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until very soft and well browned, 5 to 10 minutes more. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a blender.

Scoop squash out of skin and transfer to blender. Add beans, milk, spices, salt, pepper and vanilla extract. Blend until very smooth. Transfer the soup to a pot and bring to a gentle simmer to heat through. The soup is ready to serve.

TIME SAVER

Want to cut down on the cooking time for this soup? Substitute 4 cups (950 ml) pured pumpkin (not the pie mix) or sweet potato pure. You can have the soup ready to eat in less than 20 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER SERVING:

Calories: 156 | Calories from Fat: 18 | Protein: 2 g | Carbs: 25 g | Total Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 0.5 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sodium: 274 mg | Cholesterol: 2 mg