Panera has a cult following around their soups and especially their autumn squash soup. Our reinterpreted version has butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, and shallots for a sweet and fully fall flavor. Topped with spiced pepitas, this soup is great as an appetizer or filling enough to be the main course.
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 (2-lb.) butternut squash, peeled, and seeded, and cut into 1″ cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
4 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
1 c. apple juice
1 c. water
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
Heavy cream (optional)
FOR THE TOPPING
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. pepitas
1/2 tsp. chili powder
DIRECTIONS FOR THE SOUP
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add squash, carrots, and shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, sugar, ginger, and curry powder, and cook until vegetables are beginning to caramelize, about 2 minutes more.
- Pour over broth, apple juice, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree and cream cheese until incorporated.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into pot and stir to combine.
- Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in desired amount of heavy cream, if using. Serve soup topped with pepitas.
FOR THE TOPPING
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a medium baking sheet, toss pepitas with oil and chili powder and season with salt.
- Bake, shaking the pan halfway through, until pepitas are crunchy and golden, about 10 minutes.
- Let cool completely.