(Copy-Cat) Panera Autumn Squash Soup


I adore this soup at Panera. They serve it only during the fall season with all the wonderful fall flavors. So I’m very excited to share my home version. It was a HUGE hit in my house. It’s beyond flavorful, super healthy, and, dreamy delicious! Plus my version is vegetarian, like Panera’s but mine is dairy-free! I like to serve it as a first-course soup or main-course soup with skinny garlic toast. Each 1 cup serving has 165 calories, 5 grams of fat and 4 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints, and 4 Green.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients

2 cups onions, chopped

1½ tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon garlic, minced

A 2-pound package of chopped butternut squash, see shopping tips

1½ cups carrots, chopped

3 cups vegetable broth, I used Swanson’s

2 cups apple cider or apple juice, (do not use apple cider vinegar)

¾ teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have any use ½ teaspoon cinnamon)

3 tablespoons Smart Balance Light or reduced-fat butter

1 tablespoon honey

A little black pepper salt to taste


Instructions

1. Place onions in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 3 minutes in the microwave to soften.

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add softened onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add squash, carrots, vegetable broth, apple cider, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until squash and carrots are soft. Remove from heat and stir in Smart Balance or butter and honey. Puree with a hand (stick) blender or in batches on low in a normal blender.  Blend until very smooth.

3. Taste the soup. Add a little black pepper and salt, if desired.

4. This soup freezes great.

Makes 8 servings. Each serving 1 cup.


Shopping Tips
I used Trader Joe’s 100% HoneyCrisp apple cider. If you can’t find apple cider, it’s fine to use 100% apple juice.

To cut prep time way down, buy a package of already chopped butternut squash. I bought a 2-pound container at Trader Joe’s but most supermarkets carry it.


Healthy Benefits
The butternut squash is a great source of fiber, as well as vitamins including A, C, E, and B vitamins along with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Three tablespoons of cooked butternut squash count as one of your five-a-day.

Curry powder has a number of valuable health benefits, including the prevention of cancer, protection against heart and Alzheimer’s disease as well as pain and inflammation. It also improves bone health, boosts immunity, and increases the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body.


WW Freestyle SmartPoints 4-Blue
WW SmartPoints 4 Green
WW Points Plus 4

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup
165 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg chol, 2g prot, 30g carbs, 5g fiber, 404mg sod,16g sugar

FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
80 calories, 1g sat fat, 0g protein, 9g sugar

Comments

  1. I plan to make this as I have some left over apple cider on hand. I have some pumpkin puree and also some butternut puree in the freezer–about how much would be equivalent to the fresh butternut squash do you think?

  2. Frances, for my version, I’m just using 2 lbs cubed butternut squash. I didn’t use any pumpkin puree. If you want to add 1/2 cup.

  3. Hi, love this soup!! My kids love it as well. I wanted to point out that it is not dairy free since you use butter. My younger son cannot eat dairy so we use a dairy free butter. I have also added a can of pumpkin with great results!

    Have a great day!!

  4. Bethany,
    I mentioned in the ingredients, Smart Balance light which is dairy-free. That’s what I use. And you can easily use dairy-free butter.
    I hope your family enjoys it!
    All the best,
    Nancy

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!