Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (2024)

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3030 Minutes or LessGFGluten-FreeVGVegetarian

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30 minutes mins

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By: Rachel GurkPosted: 10/21/2015

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Copycat Panera Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier!

Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (1)

Remember last week when I was talking about my homemade mild curry powder and I said I really truly made it for this soup? Well, here it is!

We were at a church event not too long ago and my pastor’s wife asked me if I had a squash soup recipe on my site. I said yes I havea creamy butternut squash soup with smoked paprika, and a really old post about squash soup with sage. But she was looking specifically for a copycat Panera squash soup.

I don’t blame her – it is delicious! It’s also not the greatest for you, calorie-wise, considering it’s squash soup…which most people may automatically assume is healthy.

Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (2)

I made efforts to reduce the calorie content a bit while still keeping the flavors rich and slightly indulgent. I think I found a good balance, but if you’re looking for an exact replica, feel free to add more butter, cream, and sugar. I won’t judge. Your skinny jeans might but we’re coming up to winter so it’s nothing a big comfy sweater can’t fix, right? RIGHT?

Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (3)

If you read the recipe closely, you’ll see this squash soup also contains carrots and pumpkin. They give it extra sweetness and depth of flavor. If you don’t have pumpkin or don’t want to add pumpkin, just use a little less vegetable broth. Remember you can always add more at the end to make it thinner but it’s more difficult to make it thicker.

I’d recommend using carrots with the squash because they really do add great natural sweetness, and they help achieve the beautiful color of the soup. Plus, Panera squash soup also has carrots in it.

Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (4)

I garnished my Copycat Panera Squash Soup recipe with roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). Their crunch and color add a nice contrast, don’t you think? You could also garnish it with chopped, fresh herbs like sage or parsley, or homemade croutons.

Important note: This soup calls for two cups of apple cider, NOT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. If you can’t find apple cider (sometimes it’s hard to find if it’s not fall), use a natural (100% juice) apple juice. If you use vinegar by accident, your soup will NOT turn out and will definitely NOT taste like Panera’s.

PS: This isn’t my first rodeo with making a Panera copycat – make sure to check out my Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese! People LOVE it!

PS: Love butternut squash? Check out my full how to cook butternut squash guide!

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (6)

Recipe

Get the Recipe: Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe

4.44 from 1240 votes

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

8 servings

Print Rate Recipe

This Copycat Panera Squash Soup tastes just like the original, but I made it a bit healthier!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 pounds chopped butternut squash (about 6 heaping cups)
  • 3 small carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups apple cider or apple juice (do NOT use apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces low-fat (neufchatel) cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • heavy cream, optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, stirring frequently.

  • Add squash, carrots, vegetable broth, apple cider, and spices.

  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until squash and carrots are soft. Remove from heat and add pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese and brown sugar. Puree with a hand (stick) blender or in batches in a normal blender. Blend until very smooth.

  • Taste soup and add salt as desired. You may also add extra brown sugar or honey to achieve a taste closer that of Panera’s. You can also add a little heavy cream if you want a more decadent soup. If desired, add more vegetable broth to thin soup.

  • Return to burner over medium-low heat, if needed to heat the soup back up, and then serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you want it to be just like Panera squash soup – add more brown sugar and/or honey to taste. Adding more cream will also give it a richer flavor.
  • This soup calls for two cups of apple cider, NOT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. If you can’t find apple cider (sometimes it’s hard to find if it’s not fall), use a natural (100% juice) apple juice. If you use vinegar by accident, your soup will NOT turn out and will definitely NOT taste like Panera’s.
  • To reduce sodium, use low sodium or no salt added vegetable broth.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 1162mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 16g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

© Author: Rachel Gurk

Verdict: I’m totally obsessed with this copycat Panera squash soup. I love that I can have it all year round now and not just on Panera’s schedule.
Husband’s take: He never tried this. Squash soup isn’t really his thing.
Changes I would make: None are necessary.
Difficulty: Easy.

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Reader Interactions

Leave a Review

  1. Karyn says

    Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (14)
    We’ve relocated abroad and my teenager misses Panera. I made this last night and everyone agreed it tastes just like the real thing! Thank you!
    We’re vegan and I subbed vegan cream cheese (Philadelphia here).

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      That makes me so happy! Thank you for leaving a review!

      Reply

  2. Diana Sturcz says

    How much cream?

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      It’s up to you and your preference. Start with ¼ cup and try the soup, and then add more if you’d like.

      Reply

  3. Jenny says

    Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (15)
    I love Panera’s soup but it’s expensive to buy the take home version. I made this recipe and it’s so good! You did a great job duplicating my favorite soup. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for leaving a review!

      Reply

  4. VegGirl says

    Hello this looks promising! What do you think a vegetarian should substitute for the neufchâtel cheese?

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      I believe a vegetarian could eat the Neufchatel or cream cheese, but if you’re looking for a vegan substitute, you could use a coconut cream or coconut milk.

      Reply

  5. LALaw10 says

    Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (16)
    This soup is amazing! I was addicted to Paneras until I made this last night. OMG! Bye, bye Panera, Hello Rachel! My guests loved it too! Perfect fall/winter soup. Thank you!!!

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a revie!

      Reply

  6. Sandy says

    Can I freeze this soup to eat later too?

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      Absolutely! This soup freezes very well.

      Reply

  7. LeAnne says

    Hi! Getting ready to make this I have high hopes because I have a serious addiction to Panera and it’s killing my lunch budget, LOL! I do have a question though, I’m probably just not seeing it, but what size are you considering a serving? A cup?

    Reply

    • Rachel Gurk says

      Yes, about a cup!

      Reply

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Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe - Vegetarian [with VIDEO] (2024)
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