Warm and Comforting Panera Autumn Squash Soup

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Panera Autumn Squash Soup is a must-have every time the season rolls around! It’s thick and luscious, so it satisfies all on its own, and those crunchy little pumpkin seeds add some nice texture between those creamy spoonfuls. Bright colors and even brighter flavors make our copycat autumn squash soup from Panera a great dish to enjoy anytime, but especially as the weather gets colder!

Titled Image: Panera Autumn Squash Soup


 

Panera Autumn Squash Soup

I’ll admit it took me a little while to hop on the “sweet soup” train, but now I’m all on board!! 

The natural sugars from the butternut squash, pumpkin, and carrots are matched perfectly with the herbs, garlic, and curry. 

It’s all about balance, and Panera autumn squash soup gets it just right!

So what else are we craving from Panera’s soup and salad menu? Mac and cheese or broccoli cheddar? Green goddess salad?

No need to just pick two, and no need to pay extra for a bread bowl!

ingredients for panera autumn squash soup

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Butternut Squash – Get a good large one! You can also get frozen, pre-cubed butternut from the freezer aisle.

    Just let it thaw in the fridge and pat it all dry before proceeding with the roasting instructions. 
  • Apple Cider – That bit of acidity from the cider really brightens the bowl! Regular apple juice makes a good substitute. 
  • Dried Rosemary – Fresh herbs don’t have quite the intensity and bitter flavor we’re looking for, so go with dried rosemary.
  • Pumpkin Purée – Not pumpkin pie filling — that’s sweetened and seasoned. Plain ol’ purée is what we need!
  • Pumpkin Seeds – Toss those pumpkin seeds into a saucepan and toast on medium until they begin to brown too.

    That nutty flavor and crunchy texture is simply to die for!
carrots, onion and ginger paste in a large pot

Tips & Tricks for Amazing Autumn Squash Soup

  • Roasting your own butternut squash… and any other veggie!

Cube the butternut and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, slide into an oven preheated to 400°F, and roast for about 30 minutes until fork-tender and beautifully browned.

It’s just as easy to roast your carrots to add even more depth and tasty, toasty flavor to this copycat Panera autumn squash soup recipe!

Cube ‘em and toss ‘em on the pan alongside the butternut squash. 

  • Want to make a vegan copycat of autumn squash soup from Panera?

Swap out the butter with oil, and use coconut milk instead of heavy cream.

… and that’s it! Easy, right?

  • Best blending practices to follow.

Be really, very careful when blending the hot soup ingredients.

If using a traditional blender, you need to vent the lid, either by removing the center piece or leaving one edge unsealed. A buildup of steam can cause the lid to shoot right off!

Another tip if using a traditional blender — work in batches. Overfilling isn’t going to make the process any faster,  and you’re increasing your risk of a kitchen accident. 

An immersion blender would be perfect for making Panera autumn squash soup! If you have one, put it to use!

  • Some other spices you can try!

The original recipe is about seasonal spices like ginger, cinnamon, and sweet apple. But that’s not to say you can’t put your own taste and creativity into this dish!

For a savory spin, add more curry. Especially if you’re going the coconut milk route — those flavors were born to be enjoyed together. 

A little sage might complement the rosemary… and then you may as well throw in some thyme, too! Something tangy, like sour cream, takes this flavor combo all the way home. 

adding squash, vegetable broth, and seasonings to pot

Storing and Reheating Autumn Squash Soup from Panera

Once cool, transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Reheat soup over low heat on the stove, stirring frequently, until it’s completely warmed through.

If it seems too thick, add extra broth a splash at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Dutch Oven – I love this set and use it all the time. It is perfect for roasts, and I especially love it for my one-pot meals.
  • Blender – A high-power blender is a must in every kitchen.
  • Quality Knives and a big solid Cutting Board make prepping a breeze and are well worth the investment.
  • Ladle – A must for dishing up your homemade Panera autumn squash soup!
stirring cream into autumn squash soup

Panera Autumn Squash Soup Recipe FAQ

How much sugar is in Panera autumn squash soup?

The restaurant original contains 33g of sugar — in the bowl-sized serving, that is.
 
Our copycat recipe uses ¼ cup of brown sugar spread across 6 to 8 servings, depending on how big of a bowl you want to chow down on! 

Can you freeze autumn squash soup from Panera?

You can, but it’s not the best idea. The heavy cream and butter don’t love to be frozen and usually separate after thawing and reheating. 

If you decide to freeze it, thaw slowly in the fridge overnight and then reheat on medium heat, stirring constantly, to keep everything together. 

How do you thicken autumn squash soup?

Panera autumn squash soup is already pretty thick with the carrots, butternut, and pumpkin puree! 

Want it even thicker? Add a cornstarch slurry–one part cornstarch, one part water–just a little at a time until it’s got the body you’re looking for. 

panera autumn squash soup in a blue bowl

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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closeup of a bowl of autumn squash soup

bowl of panera autumn squash soup

Warm and Comforting Panera Autumn Squash Soup

Donna Elick
Panera Autumn Squash Soup serves spoonfuls of sweet, savory, seasonal flavors! Create my creamy autumn squash soup recipe in 40 minutes!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1″ cubes, and roasted (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste, or grated ginger
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, 32 ounces
  • 2 cups apple cider, 16 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pumpkin seeds, pepitas, cream, and/or paprika for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Saute Vegetables: Melt the butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot. Add the diced onion, peeled and chopped carrots, and ginger paste. Sauté until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Combine Ingredients: Add the roasted butternut squash, vegetable broth, curry powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, onion powder, dried rosemary, and apple cider. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer on medium-low. Simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add Pumpkin and Sugar: Once the carrots are tender, stir in the pumpkin puree and packed brown sugar. Remove the soup from the heat.
  • Puree the Soup: Using an immersion blender or a regular blender (in batches), puree the soup until it's smooth.
  • Stir in Cream: Stir in the heavy cream and serve the soup hot. Garnish each serving with pumpkin seeds, cream, and paprika if desired. Enjoy!

Donna’s Notes

To roast butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
For a vegan option, you can substitute the butter with oil and use coconut milk in place of heavy cream.
If you don’t have ginger paste, you can grate fresh ginger or even use ginger powder. If using ginger powder, add it when adding the other seasonings.
Adjust the seasonings to your taste preference. Feel free to add more curry or other spices to enhance the flavors.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 285cal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1054mg | Sugar: 25g | Fiber: 6g | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Panera Autumn Squash Soup - PIN

Originally published December 2023

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