Saturday, September 14, 2013

Panera Bread's Autumn Squash Soup---Ever Love Something and Want It For At Home? Well, Here Ya Go...

Friday (the 13th by the way) I was at Panera Bread having lunch with my grandpa- our usual routine for Friday after I clean house for him (grandma passed away a year ago) and I have to tell ya, I enjoyed the most tastetastical (yes I made that up) cup of soup ever!

Well, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself in my excitement. Rewind. Ok, let me start from the beginning...

 At eleven am (our usual time- grandpa likes routine) we arrive to those beautiful doors of Panera Bread. We walk in, say our hellos to the other usual's ( Usual- meaning any gentlemen or ladies who frequent Panera more than just once in awhile), grandpa sometimes lingering  to thank a solider, Veteran or police officer for their service,and then we slowly (Grandpa's 83, so it's not a dart) make our way to the ordering counter . When we reach it, we both then  proceed  to say our hello's to the staff we consider friends, even family (yes, they know us pretty well- heck, they know our orders by heart) and then make our orders.

Grandpa's order: Cup of chicken noodle or wild rice soup (thanks to me by the way) with the baguette (knife & 1 butter to go with it), small cup of coffee and sometimes (more often than not) a peanut butter cookie-grandpa's a diabetic, he is trying to watch his sugar levels, he's been a good boy.

My order: Either the tomato,broccoli cheddar or clam chowder (they don't put this one out often:) soup, with baguette, a half of a Mediterranean veggie sandwich, medium fountain drink and of course a shortbread cookie-that is yum by the way! (Click here for that copycat recipe)

Like I said, these are our usual orders. Changing up my soups is my way of living on the wild side. (Honestly, I commonly order the same because if I like it then why not). Well this Friday (did I mention it was the 13th?) I spot  Autumn squash soup on the soup menu. I love squash, I mean I really, really love squash! Steamed squash, fried squash, raw squash, squash casserole and now squash soup. Before this day that will forever hang in the history, I had never ventured into the squash soup realm.(I kick myself now for that). Truthfully, I have never been to a place that ever offered it.

 This day (Friday the 13th by the way) I change my order up. I pick the Autumn Squash soup.  We get our drinks, grab our cookies and then find our table to sit and wait for our meals to arrive. The wonderful server, who knows us well, shows up with our plates of yumminess and sets them down. Before me, I find a cup full of some yellowish soup with toasted almonds at the center of it.

I pick up my little silver wide mouthed spoon and take my first bite...


I do not know how many times I mention this to my grandpa(lost count really); it was like eating my lunch and dessert at the same time( I said this quite a few times too)! There was a sweetness to it that reminded me of pumpkin pie and yet a distinct taste that reminded me it was a soup and meant for a meal, not a dessert. The soup was creamy, smooth going down and as much as I wanted to inhale it, I took my bites in leisure. I wanted to enjoy this for as long as I could. Each bite was like discovering it for the first time again.

Over and Over...and over.

I liked the LOVED the soup. So of course the gears of my mind went into action-well they are always in action, but just a pick up in pace:0)- trying to make it clear I do think:0)

I wanted to make this at home. As much as I love going to Panera, I wanted to eat this soup every day and going everyday to Panera to eat it does make a dent in your pocket book (still love you Panera!) I knew (I am a mom of 6) that I could make this soup at home and for a lot less and get a lot more. So where do you find a recipe for something you like?


I googled squash soup like Panera's and found a few recopies. They varied a little, but then were the same a little. So of course, I wanna find out the best combination of ingredients to make this soup as fabulous as Panera's. This means experimentation time.

Note: My results will be in another blog post. 

For now, I want to share these recipes with you.  You can try them out individually and compare, pick and choose which ingredients you want and then make the soup or even make up your own version. Share the  results with me if ya want, cause I sure would  LOVE to hear them!

Panera Bread Company Butternut Squash Soup Sources: 

 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 small onion 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (1 teaspoon dried) 1 small butternut squash, chopped 6 1/3 cups chicken stock (50.4 ounces) 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Hot pepper sauce Melt butter over moderate heat in large saucepan. Add the onion and rosemary and cook until soft (approximately 5 minutes). Add chopped squash, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt, white pepper and hot sauce. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 2 hours - or until squash is tender. Use blender to puree the hot soup. Toast walnuts to use for garnish. Serve in a bread bowl. - this came from Recipe Goldmine.
2-3 TBS butter/vegetable oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 red apples (I used Gala), peeled and diced
1 carton of chicken stock
Sweet curry (look for curry with a brownish color - it contains more cinnamon.)

Roughly chop everything and sauté with 2-3 Tablespoons of butter or oil for
20 min or until onions are translucent.

Add 1 carton of chicken stock and simmer for 1 hr.

Blend with an immersion blender, reg blender, or food processor to
desired consistency. Add 1/2-1 cup (or as desired) 2% or whole milk.

Season with salt and curry powder to taste! I think I used about 1/2 to 1 tsp curry powder...Enjoy!
-This came from Kristi's Home Kookin'

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Recipe below was also on photo courtesy of justapinch

2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 small onion,minced
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 small butternut squash, chopped
6 1/3 c chicken stock (50.4 ounces)
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 c chopped walnuts
Hot pepper sauce
Over low saute onion and rosemary in butter and cook til soft (5 min).

Add chopped squash, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt, white pepper and hot sauce. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 hours - til squash is tender.

Use blender to puree the hot soup.

Toast walnuts to use for garnish.

Serve in a bread bowl.
- this came from Mommysavers

So, there ya go! Have fun, make a mess and enjoy! I will get back to you on my results and let's pray they are good ones :0)

Thanks for the drop by!


  1. Looks interesting. I like grilled or oven-baked squash brushed with olive oil, so I'd probably like this. Might give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing the recipes you found.

    We were able to get the basic info about a French cod dish we had when we were in Paris. One of the waiters told us the ingredients, so we duplicated it when we got back to Canada. It's a great dish using whitefish, onions and potatoes. I'm always trying to determine what's in a dish when I like something. It's something good cooks do.

    1. Well, I'm a good enough cook to mostly not burn things, but so far not master enough to identify all ingredients :0) Thanks for dropping by D.G. !

  2. I found this post by trying to find this new Panera recipe. I tried it Thursday the 12th and I've had it three times since. I love this soup. :) I can't wait to try my hand at making it. It's the best squash soup I've ever had. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Only problem is the Panera Bread version has pumpkin in it. I need to find that!

  4. Panera's website describes the soup as Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup

    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.

    1. On the menu board at Panera, it is marked as vegan/vegetarian. Vegan would mean no cream or any animal product.

  5. I just tried the soup today and feel pretty much the same way you do about it. I was using google to discover a recipe so I wouldn't have to totally guess the ingredients. Their soup is very close to some butternut soup I had in Nairobi and have been craving ever since. I thought maybe there was a bit of cloves in there but I must have been tasting the curry.

  6. I think this soup must be some kind of combination of the two: the one with rosemary and the other with apples & curry. I tried this soup the other day and while I was eating it, got on my phone to look for copycat recipes, because I'm like you - I LOVE butternut squash! So, while I was looking at the recipes, I was actually eating it, and I could definitely taste the rosemary, curry and honey. I'm going to play around with all these flavors too, because fall is on its way, and I could probably eat this soup every day!

  7. Had the soup this weekend and fell in love. Have you figured out which recipe is closest to the real thing?

  8. I made it this way today and it was really close to Panera's:

    2-3 Tbsp olive oil
    1 large butternut squash, cubed
    1 vidalia onion, chopped
    2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    6 small apples (probably 4 regular apples), peeled and cubed
    2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
    6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    2 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp white pepper (I might leave this out, next time, I don't think it added anything)
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    a pinch of ground cloves
    a pinch of ground ginger
    2 Tbsp honey
    1 1/2 - 2 cups canned pumpkin pie mix (this is sweetened, NOT the pure pumpkin- I used Libby's brand)
    1/4 cup milk

    Heat oil in a large pot, add squash, onion, carrots, apples, and rosemary and sauté on medium-low, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Add broth and everything else except pumpkin and milk. Simmer on low until everything is soft enough to puree- about an hour. Add pumpkin and puree until smooth (an immersion blender works really well), return to pot if you removed it to puree. Stir in milk and adjust spices to taste. Sprinkle with toasted papitas.

    **This makes a lot, be prepared! I originally made this with a stalk of home-grown celery and it overpowered the soup a little so I took it out of the recipe. It doesn't taste to me like Panera uses celery... Also, they "finish with sweet cream", so you could use heavy cream instead of milk to make this really scrumptious. I think the pumpkin is really key to Panera's soup-- I might even add more than 2 cups next time. I used a sweetened pumpkin pie mix so I probably didn't need the honey, which I only put in because Panera's recipe mentioned it. Next time I might leave out the honey. If you use pure pumpkin you would need to add brown sugar, more honey, or maple syrup. It's easy to adjust the amount of pumpkin to your taste- since it's already pureed you can start with 1 1/2 cups and stir in more as needed. I think I ended up with about 2 cups.

    This version tasted really close to me!

    1. Thanks Cas, I will def have to give this one a try!

  9. Panera says its soup is made with pumpkin, butternut squash, vegetable broth, honey, apple juice, cinnamon, curry and sweet cream.

  10. Thanks everyone for the drop by and shared info. I know what I'll be eating often this winter!

  11. I am with you on this soup and will be trying a few versions myself until I get it right. LOVE LOVE LOVE! But mostly I am so enchanted by your routine with your Grandpa. That alone melted my heart. What a sweet granddaughter you are! <3

  12. hope you don't mind, but I linked up to your awesome recipe in my own blog!

  13. There is no Panera near me, so I will not be able to try their soup. I do look forward to trying these recipes even if I can't compare them with the "real thing". I did notice, however, that Panera lists cream cheese in the Vegetarian Autumn Squash soup and none of these recipes include this. Do you think this effects the end result?