Recipe File: Autumn Pumpkin-Squash Soup

Panera Copycat Autumn Pumpkin-Squash Soup

When it comes to soups, I was always a traditionalist with chicken noodle being my jam with the occassional minestrone, brocolli cheddar or French onion thrown in. When Panera Bread came out with their Autumn Squash Soup, however, I was immediately hooked. It's creamy, savory, sweet, and is basically a bowl of fall vibes. Being my go-to during the cooler months, I just HAD to figure out how to re-create it and what beter timing to share than on the eve of Thanksgiving?

If you're on first course duty, I recommend starting the meal off with this creamy, delicious soup. This recipe is a close copycat to Panera's with a few extra veggies thrown in (I sneak them in where I can!) It's pretty easy to make and you can whip up a huge pot of it for all your guests. You can even freeze leftovers for the next cozy soup day. And yes, I even included the pepitas. Here's the recipe>>

Autumn Pumpkin-Squash Soup adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine
1 Butternut Squash, roasted (see roasting steps below)
1 Sugar Pumpkin, roasted (these are not the pumpkins you use to carve, these are smaller ones used for pies. Likewise, you can use 1 can of pumpkin)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
3-4 Carrots, diced
1 Shallot, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
1 Zuchinni, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp Curry Powder
½ tsp Cinnamon
8 C Vegetable Broth
1 C Apple Juice
½ C Greek Yogurt (plain)
1 tsp Honey
Salt & Ground Pepper, to taste

Seasoned Pepitas:
1 tsp Butter
½ cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
¼ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Curry Powder
¼ tsp Salt

To roast, preheat oven to 400˚F. Cut the squash and pumpkin in half and scoop out all the seeds and stringy flesh. Sprinkle olive oil over the pieces and place cut side down on a lined sheet pan and roast for approximately 30-40 minutes. Once tender, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool to touch, scoop out roasted flesh from the skin and set aside.

Heat large saucepan or Dutch ove on stove over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Once heated, add diced onions, carrots, and celery sauté for  about 5 minutes or until slightly translucent and soft. Add shallots and zuchinni and cook for additional 3 minutes or until soft. Add minced garlic, curry powder and cinnamon, cooking for another minute.

Next, add broth, apple juice and about 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, then add roasted squash and pumpkin, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

While soup is simmering, prepare the pepitas by melting butter in a small pan over medium heat, being careful not to burn (not that I did that or anything...). Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Next, sprinkle the seeds with the paprika, curry powder and salt and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. The seeds will start turning a golden color once done. Remove from heat and set aside, tasting and adding more salt if needed.

Remove pan from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree until very smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, add to a blender and blend in batches. Remember, hot liquids expand when they blend so only fill blender about half-ways full. Once blended, return to pan if using blender, stir in the Greek yogurt, honey, pepper and salt to taste. Taste test to make sure seasoning is good and adjust with salt and more honey if needed. 

Serve hot with pepitas sprinkled on top.

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