Can't get enough of the autumn squash soup at Panera? Experience the delicious taste of fall with this velvety smooth recipe that's filled with some of the best of fall's produce.
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All the ingredients for our copycat Panera squash soup are easy to find in a large grocery store. To save time, we used canned plain pumpkin puree and frozen cubed butternut squash. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Aromatics: We used shallots, garlic, and ginger paste.
- Vegetables: We used carrots, butternut squash, and pumpkin in this copycat recipe.
- Liquids: We used vegetable broth, apple juice, and lemon juice from concentrate.
- Spices: We used kosher salt, curry, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, nutmeg, coriander, and turmeric.
- Dairy: We used cream cheese and heavy cream to make this Panera copycat recipe taste creamy.
How to Make
To get started, gather all the ingredients for our copycat Panera squash soup.
- Saute the shallots and carrots until they are softened and have a bit of color. Add the minced garlic and the ginger puree and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly. Bloom the spices by sprinkling them on top of the aromatics and stirring for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Deglaze the pot by pouring in ½ cup of vegetable broth and releasing the fond by scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden turner.
3. Slowly pour in the rest of the vegetable broth.
4. Add the cubed butternut squash and the apple juice concentrate. Mix well, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat and add the pumpkin puree, butter, honey, cream cheese, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.
6. Puree it in small batches until velvety smooth. Be careful not to burn yourself, as the liquid is very hot. Transfer it back into the pot.
7. Stir in the cream and lemon juice concentrate. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
8. Enjoy while hot with a sprinkle of pepitas.
This Panera copycat soup is lightly sweet with the help of brown sugar and honey while its unique combination of spices gives it a depth that is very satisfying. The soup is pureed until it is velvety smooth and is rich and creamy.
For a 12 ounce (1 ½ cup) serving size, there is 330 calories, 16 g fat, 41g carbs, 5 g fiber, and 8 g protein.
For the same serving size, our copycat recipe has 431 calories, 27.7g fat, 46.2g carbs, 6.1g fiber, and 5.4g protein. For more nutrition information, please scroll to the end of the recipe card.
In theory, this Panera soup is gluten-free, but they state on their website that since their food is served in a bakery cafe, traces of gluten can be present. To be absolutely sure, it's best to make your own with gluten-free vegetable broth. Follow our copycat Panera recipe, and you will not be disappointed.
Yes, you absolutely can! For the best flavor and results, follow the recipe steps 1 to 3 on the stovetop, then transfer to a slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients, except the cream cheese, heavy cream and lemon juice. Stir everything together, then cover and cook on high for 3 ½ hours or on low for 6 hours.
During the last half hour add the softened cubed cream cheese and stir. After the full cooking time, puree the soup then stir in the heavy cream and lemon juice. Taste and adjust spices to your liking. Serve hot with a sprinkle of Pepita seeds.
- Panera gives you the choice of a bag of kettle chips, a piece of baguette, or an apple to go with your order.
- At home, this Panera copycat squash soup would taste wonderful with any crusty bread, a crunchy green salad, or a fruit salad.
- Make ahead: This Panera copycat recipe works perfectly to make ahead. Storage is outlined below for both the refrigerator and freezer.
- Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: To reheat leftover copycat Panera squash soup, place it in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent it from boiling.
- Freeze: For best results, freeze before adding any cream cheese or heavy cream then when ready to eat, reheat on the stovetop, mix in the dairy and adjust seasonings.
- Need this vegan? Use vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, agave nectar, and full-fat coconut milk.
- Need this gluten-free? Make sure the vegetable broth is gluten-free.
- Need this lower in fat? Use reduced-fat cream cheese (or Neufchâtel) and evaporated milk.
- Want this less sweet and spicier? Half the honey and brown sugar and increase the curry by ½ teaspoon, and add 1 tablespoon of red curry paste.
- Can't find plain pumpkin puree? Roast a small sweet pie pumpkin.
- To save time, use canned pumpkin puree and frozen cubed butternut squash.
- For the creamiest taste, use full-fat cream cheese and heavy cream.
- For the best flavor, take the time to saute the aromatics, bloom the spices, and deglaze the pot.
- Let the steam escape from the lid of the blender by removing the center insert and covering the hole with a folded kitchen towel.
- For the best texture, puree the soup until it is velvety smooth.
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Copycat Panera Squash Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup shallots, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger puree
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 6 cups butternut squash, cubed
- ¼ cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until it is shimmering, then saute the shallots and carrots for 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add in the garlic and ginger puree and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly.
- Sprinkle the spices onto the aromatics and let them bloom by stirring for a minute.
- Pour ½ cup of vegetable broth and scrape off the brown fond from the base of the pot with a wooden turner.
- Add the rest of the vegetable broth, cubed butternut squash, and concentrated apple juice. Mix well, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the canned pumpkin puree, butter, honey, cream cheese, and brown sugar. Mix well.
- In small batches, puree the soup until velvety smooth in a blender. Be careful not to burn yourself. Return the pureed mixture back to the pot.
- Stir in the cream and lemonade concentrate, then taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. (It should taste sweet, and have dominant pumpkin and cinnamon flavors, like Panera's.)
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of pepitas on top of each serving.
- Follow the recipe steps 1 to 3 as written above on the stovetop.
- Transfer to a slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients, except the cream cheese, heavy cream, and lemon juice.
- Stir everything together, then cover and cook on high for 3 ½ hours or on low for 6 hours.
- During the last half hour add the softened cubed cream cheese and stir.
- After the full cooking time, puree the soup then stir in the heavy cream and lemon juice. Taste and adjust spices to your liking.
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of Pepita seeds.
- For time saving techniques, use canned pumpkin puree and frozen cubed butternut squash.
- For the creamiest taste, use full fat cream cheese and heavy cream.
- For the best flavor, take the time to saute the aromatics, bloom the spices and deglaze the pot.
- For your safety, let the steam escape from the lid of the blender, by removing the center insert and covering the hole with a folded kitchen towel.
- For the best texture, puree the soup until velvety smooth.
Our Copycat Panera squash soup recipe was originally published on Sept. 10, 2021.