I’ve had an obsession going on the past couple of weeks. I have needed to stop at least once a week to get Panera Autumn Squash Soup. It’s sweet and creamy with crispy roasted and salted pumpkin seeds on top. Its so satisfying on these cooling fall days and I decided I needed to make it myself. Using the Panera ingredient list as my framework I started out to create a homemade version.
The Panera website describes the soup as “A blend of butternut squash and pumpkin, simmered in vegetable broth with honey, apple juice, cinnamon and a hint of curry, then finished with sweet cream and topped with roasted and salted pumpkin seeds.” Pretty simple…only tough part was to get the smooth texture. In my initial test I used golden acorn and butternut but they were not inherently sweet enough. I had also simmered them in vegetable broth to cook the squashes, but the consistency was too stringy and grainy after blending. I also felt the squash would benefit from roasting rather than simmering to get a deeper flavor.
At lunch with a couple of friends, one of them suggested I use canned pumpkin, which turned out to be the key! Canned pumpkin, roasted butternut squash pureed with my potato ricer created the right balance of sweet and velvety that I was looking for. To make the roasted pumpkin seeds check out this Simply Recipes Post. This is a great lunch with crusty bread and a side salad à la Panera, or try it as an appetizer – Autumn Squash Shooters topped with a dab of sour cream, a great addition to you Thanksgiving meal (yes, I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving!).
ADDITIONAL NOTES: I’ve had a great response to this post and wanted to make a couple of notes based on comments and feedback I’ve received. Some people have felt the consistency was too thick, if you are using a whole butternut squash it may be difficult to use the right amount without weighting your cut up squash. Not to worry – just add additional broth and/or apple cider after you have pureed the squash until you reach your preferred consistency. I used a mild yellow curry, which blends nicely with the other spices, feel free to add more spice to your preference! Hope you enjoy!