Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup Copycat Recipe

Autumn is the harvest season, and as such, it makes sense that there are so many meals we traditionally associate with the onset of cooler weather. Squash and apples are at the peak of their ripeness in the fall, and as those are the major players in this dish, it's only fair that it's called an autumn soup. "This is a great dish to make on a winter evening," says chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness. But given that you can find all of the ingredients needed for this "autumn" soup in any season at most decent grocery stores, there's never a bad time to make up a batch. And as it freezes and re-heats so well, you should, by all means, make that a big batch indeed.

And don't be intimated if you have long loved ordering Panera's Autumn Squash Soup but never tried your hand at a similar dish yourself. "This recipe is super easy" says Carli, calling it "pretty hard to mess up." If you can peel a squash (and remove the seeds and stringy guts or, better yet, buy your squash pre-cut!), dice and stir some veggies for sautéing, and watch the clock, you can make this delicious soup, season on the calendar notwithstanding. 

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."

Prep and roast the squash

Start off by pre-heating the oven to 425º degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a whole butternut squash (or two smaller ones), now is the time to peel it, chop it in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, and then chop it into cubes. If you have pre-cubed squash, well all the easier.

Arrange the cubed butternut squash on a large baking sheet, all spread out evenly. Now drizzle over it 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on the cinnamon, before roasting the squash for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can chop the onion and apple and measure out your other ingredients. (And for the record, various apple varieties will work fine!)

Sauté the onions and apple, then add the squash

In a medium stockpot or a Dutch oven, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat it on the stove over medium heat, and once the oil has warmed, add the diced onion and cubed apple and sauté for about ten minutes, or until the onion is quite soft and translucent and everything is getting nice and fragrant. Try to time this for the last ten minutes that the squash is in the oven roasting. 

Once the squash has been roasting for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and add those roasted cubes of the cooked apple and onion, stirring to combine.

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."

Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup Copycat Recipe
5 from 83 ratings
There's no need to wait until fall or head to Panera to enjoy their Autumn Squash Soup. Making this butternut squash soup at home couldn't be any easier.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Autumn Squash Soup
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • 32 oz cubed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 honey crisp apple, cubed
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Optional Ingredients
  • thyme leaves
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 425º Fahrenheit, then place the cubed butternut squash on a large baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over cinnamon, then roast for 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium stockpot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and turn heat to medium, then add onion and apple and sauté for about 10 minutes, until onion is soft, translucent, and fragrant.
  4. Once squash has been roasting for 30 minutes, remove from oven and add it to the apple and onion.
  5. Add broth and cream to the stockpot, then add turmeric, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  7. Using an immersion blender or stand blender (blend in batches), blend the soup until smooth.
  8. Serve, and garnish bowls with thyme leaves and pepper if desired.
Calories per Serving 200
Total Fat 12.1 g
Saturated Fat 5.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 27.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Total Sugars 7.6 g
Sodium 426.1 mg
Protein 2.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe