How To Make Butternut Squash Soup In A Slow Cooker
This soup recipe also totally works in a slow cooker too! You can set it and forget it!
See recipe note card for instructions for making the soup in a pressure cooker.
This makes a wonderful starter dish for a fall dinner party or Thanksgiving dinner. This is truly the best butternut squash soup recipe out there, and the fact that its so easy is just the cherry on top! Once you make it, I just know youll be hooked on this warm and flavorful fall dinner!
Panera Autumn Squash Soup
If youre as obsessed with Panera Autumn Squash Soup as I am, youre going to love this version! There are lots of copycat Panera recipes out there, but this one includes the special spices and textures that set this soup apart from other squash soups. Best of all, most of the work is done by the blender!
There was a time, many years ago, when the only place you could get a decent bowl of soup for lunch on the run was at Panera Bread. I still remember their Cuban black bean soup with loads of fondness because it was just the yummiest black bean soup I had ever tasted . And their Forest Mushroom soup? To.die.for.
Now, as a bonafide soup addict, you might expect me to say that my refrigerator is overflowing at all times with all sorts of homemade soup. But the truth is, I dont spend all of my free time behind the stove: I eat out, too.
And my current obsession is Panera Autumn Squash Soup, which happy happy happy is back in season now.
Even better, my local Kroger carries Panera Autumn Squash Soup pre-packaged nearly year-round. Which means that in the depths of snowy winter, I can have a super tasty bowl of autumn squash soup for lunch right in my own kitchen, any day of the week.
And Ive been as happy as a squash soup lovin clam ever since, until one day at the farmers market, I spied, and fell in love with, the the butterkin squash. Yes, the butterkin squash: a butternut squash that grows in the shape of a pumpkin!
What Is The Secret To Making This Soup So Flavorful
Keep in mind, the only prep work needed to make this soup is peeling and chopping the vegetables. The rest is easy!
- The secret to making this squash soup so flavorful is the way we saute the veggies together, before any liquid is poured in.
- This method allows the vegetables to saute and infuse their wonderful aromas and flavor into one another.
- It has always been our method of pre-cooking the veggies before any liquid is added, and its consistent with most of our soup recipes, like our Creamy Butternut Squash Potato Soup, and ourHealthy Butternut Squash Zucchini Soup.
- Its also loaded with butternut squash and pumpkin puree.
- Additional flavor comes from a few spices and seasonings. Its best to make sure all your spices and seasonings are fresh and not expired. Its equally important to check the expiration date on each jar, and replace them when needed.
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Best Panera Inspired Autumn Squash Soup
I made this version of autumn squash soup Panera copycat when my kids were down with a little fever last month. They had just returned to school after summer, and within three days, they came down with cold and fever symptoms. I excluded cream, a regular feature in Panera Breads autumn squash soup. However, I compensated in other ways that greatly enhanced the soup. I used coconut milk, and it was perfect!
Make It A Meal Here Are Some Of Our Favorite Sides To Serve With Autumn Squash Soup:
- Bread or Toast. Keep things easy with some yummy bread, baguettes, rolls, or toast on the side. My kids love ALL of these things, and it usually makes them a bit more excited about the soup.
- Sandwiches. Or, serve grilled sandwiches or set out sandwich fixings and let everyone build a sandwich to go with their soup. Another big hit with my kids.
- Side Salads. A yummy salad is a great pairing next to autumn squash soup. Go small with a simple side salad or serve your soup as a side to a more substantial main dish salad, like our Wild Rice Kale Salad, Fall Chopped Salad, or Pear and Pomegranate Salad.
- Fruit. And I always love some fruit at dinner. Ripe apples, pears, or grapes can go nicely!
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Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup
October 2, 2016 by Stephanie Manley, Last Updated November 26, 2020
Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup is a delicious soup that you dont want to miss. Now you can make this classic fall soup anytime with this copycat recipe.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Panera Bread is known for a menu that changes seasonally. During the fall their Autumn Squash Soup cant be missed. This unique soup is a cornucopia of flavors.
This soup combines butternut squash, pumpkin, vegetable broth, apple juice, cinnamon, and curry powder. You will love this combination of flavors.
Heres a list of what you need:
- Butternut squash
Is Squash Soup Good For You
Recent research on the benefits of antioxidants suggests they may help prevent and slow the process of inflammation, reducing the risk for several chronic illnesses. Monitoring blood pressure correctly requires a good potassium intake. Despite the low fiber content of butternut squash soup, it does contain potassium.
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Copycat Panera Breads Autumn Squash Soup
*Post was updated 10/4/14 to include updated photos.
Madelyn and I had dinner at Panera Bread a couple of weeks ago and I decided to live on the wild side and change up my normal Black Bean Soup order and enjoy the seasonal Autumn Squash Soup. This was a VERY good decision! I still love the Black Bean soup, but no soup can quite compete with the lovely lightly sweetened creaminess that is the Autumn Squash Soup.
Ever since my Panera Bread visit, I was craving the squash soup, plus I had a Costco-sized carton of already chopped organic butternut squash to use up. I searched the Panera Bread website to see if they had a recipe for the soup online . No such luck! I did come across other peoples copycat squash soup recipes most of which included butter, heavy cream, whole milk and/or vegetable oil. I decided to take my chances with creating a butternut squash soup that may not taste like Paneras Autumn Squash soup, but would hopefully at least taste good.
How To Make Autumn Squash Soup:
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Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients
To make this easy butternut squash soup recipe that tastes even better than the Autumn Squash Soup from Panera Bread, you will only need 6 main ingredients:
- Butternut squash: You have 2 options here. You can peel and chop 1 medium-sized fresh butternut squash. Heres a trusty how-to cut a butternut squash video tutorial for that. I personally, prefer to just buy pre-cut squash, either in the fresh or frozen vegetable section of the grocery store.
- Apple and onion: These ingredients will add some extra sweet and savory flavors to the soup. I like to use Honeycrisp apples to give this soup more of a sweetness, but Granny Smith apples are the perfect choice if you dont want your soup to be too sweet.
- Vegetable broth and almond milk: For giving your soup that silky creaminess. I like using almond milk, but any milk variety will work.
- Cinnamon, curry, salt and black pepper: The cinnamon is used to season the squash and the curry gets thrown in with the onion and apple. I love this seasoning combo. I really like curry and use about 2 teaspoons for the soup, but a few readers thought this was too much. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more based on your preference.
- Optional garnishes: I like to drizzle in some almond milk and maybe a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds. I always serve the rich, creamy soup with crusty bread and sometimes a grilled cheese. This soup works perfectly as a dip!
Turmeric In Autumn Squash Soup
Yes! Its a big yes for me when it comes to adding turmeric to this squash soup recipe. Initially, I swapped out curry powder for ground turmeric primarily due to its health benefits. Then, I fell in love with the vibrancy of turmeric I love the color! Ground turmeric is my secret Panera autumn squash soup hack! Well, its no secret anymore. I just let it out of the bag!
Gladly, I used authentic ground turmeric from Spice Tribe ! It is no longer secret that I love using Spice Tribe products. They source their herbs and spices directly from the local farmers, and they support local communities. Learn more about this company.
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Panera Butternut Squash Soup
Panera Butternut Squash Soup – A creamy, rich, velvety soup made in the slow cooker using butternut squash, tart apples and delicious fall flavors!
Easy? Absolutely! The flavors are deep and complex. Better than Panera Bread, this is the BEST Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup you’ve ever tasted and a meal your whole family will love!
If you love this, next time try Potato Soup! This vegetarian recipe is so good. Super cheesy and creamy this hearty soup will be a new, easy favorite!
Panera Bread Copycat Recipe For Autumn Squash Soup
The first time I tasted Panera Breads autumn squash soup, I fell in love! But when I searched for the ingredients to make this soup, I was not happy with Paneras version, it had too many unwanted ingredients and a lot of dairies.
So I decided to come up with my recipe to make the copycat version of Panera Breads autumn squash soup.
While other copycat recipes are loaded with butter, sugar, and cream,I can assure you, our version is not!
This creamy soup is loaded with only veggies, vegetable broth, and some seasonings! No butter, no sugar added, and no heavy cream whats-so-ever!
Since my kids were babies, I have been pureeing my soups forever. I mean, how else could a mother-of-four get them to eat healthy veggies without nitpicking at every little vegetable they didnt like.
So this creamy soup was easy to come up with my own copycat version of Panera Breads recipe for their seasonal autumn squash soup. And I think it is DANG GOOD!
Its loaded with a lot of vegetables, including butternut squash and pumpkin puree, and it makes a huge pot of this lusciously smooth soup, enough to feed your family and freeze some.
The taste is SO amazing!! Its perfect.
The vegetables in our version along with both squashes are what makes it very flavorful. They contain natural sugars that release while cooking, making this soup sweet and savory without adding additional ingredients.
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How To Make Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup
Faq + Tips & Tricks For The Best Autumn Squash Soup:
blender tips for blending hot soup: Please dont blend boiling hot soup in your blender. Its not safe! Heres how to blend hot soup in a blender safely:
- Work in batches to prevent overfilling your blender. Over-filled blenders of hot liquid can cause splatters/burns. Aim to fill it no more than about 1/2 full each batch.
- Whenever you blend something warm, its important to make sure your blender lid is vented to allow steam to escape. Make sure the lid is on securely, but open any stoppers in the lid when possible. .
- Cover your blender with a dish cloth for added protection from splatters.
CAN YOU FREEZE SQUASH SOUP? Yes! Autumn squash soup freezes like a dream. Pour cooled soup into freezer-safe bags, containers, or even these individual soup portion ice molds and lay on a flat surface until frozen solid. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
DO YOU USE AN IMMERSION BLENDER OR REGULAR BLENDER TO BLEND SOUP?An immersion blender is the easier option for sure as it can be placed directly in hot soup. However in my experience, it doesnt get the soup totally smooth. A regular blender can get this soup completely, totally smooth , but you do need to follow the safety tips above when working with hot liquids.
A GREAT AFFORDABLE DUTCH OVEN. If youve been looking for a sturdy dutch oven on a budget, I cant recommend this one enough! Its affordable, has seen me through 3 years of heavy use, and looks gorgeous to boot.
Gather Your Autumn Squash Soup Ingredients
To whip up your own pot of this Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup copycat recipe that will yield six delicious, nutritious servings, you’ll need 32 ounces of cubed butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided, 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 honey crisp apple cubed, 1/2 a yellow onion diced, 1/2 a cup of heavy cream, 32 ounces of vegetable broth, 1/2 a teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1/2 a teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper, and thyme leaves for garnish.
Note that while this soup is vegetarian, Carli says: “I have yet to find a good dairy-free cream so making this vegan may be tricky.”
Does Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup Offer Nutritional Benefits
Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup can be a healthier option when compared to alternative foods. Not only does it include essential minerals like calcium and potassium, but it also has 0g of trans fat. This Panera soup contains healthy ingredients like pasteurized milk, cream and more. It bears no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors.
- No artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors
- Keep refrigerated
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Add Wet Ingredients And Spices Simmer Then Blend The Soup
Now add the broth and cream to the stockpot and stir well, then add the turmeric, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook your soup, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.
Now it’s time to blend, which you can ideally do using an immersion blender thrust down into the pot. If you’re using a stand blender, process the hot soup in batches that never fill it more than half way, and hold the lid on with a towel.
Either way, blend the soup until it’s completely smooth, then serve and enjoy, garnishing with thyme leaves if desired. “I’d recommend serving this with a big hunk of sourdough bread for dipping,” says Carli, adding: “If you want more heat, I would add some red chili flakes.”
What Goes In The Soup
- Yellow onion: grab a small one if you can and roughly dice it.
- Butternut squash: this is the base of the whole soup recipe and make it taste a little sweet. It also adds creaminess when it’s all blended together.
- Carrots: this isn’t particularly noticeable when it’s done, but it adds depth and color.
- Vegetable stock: Use this to thin out the soup. You can also use a low sodium vegetable broth.
- Apple juice: I try to get unsweetened juice or juice with no added sugars. This gives the soup just a hint of sweet apple.
- Warm Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and curry powder.
- Pumpkin: canned pumpkin puree is best here! Make sure you don’t buy pumpkin pie filling.
- Coconut oil: You could also use butter or a plant based butter
- Coconut cream or cream cheese: I wanted to keep this vegan and plant based so I swapped the cream cheese for coconut cream. Adds creaminess without the coconut flavor.
- Maple syrup: Just a touch of maple syrup that compliments all the fall flavors and sweetens it just a bit. I decided to opt for a refined sugar free option, but if you have brown sugar on hand you can use that too. You could also swap it for honey!
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