Meatless Monday Challenge

Creamy One-Pot Autumn Squash Soup

on January 22, 2024
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This Autumn Squash Soup is creamy and velvety, perfectly balanced between savory, and sweet, and incorporates tons of real veggies for depth of flavor. Only one pot required!
Autumn Squash Soup in a bowl garnished with pumpkin seeds.

Looking for a super-cozy, warming soup that uses your Fall-seasonal veggies? This Autumn Squash Soup is creamy and outrageously delicious, incorporating butternut squash, pumpkin puree, and more to bring you the ultimate in taste and texture.

This seasonal favorite is a dead ringer for the Panera soup but made in your own home with fresh ingredients and tailored to your taste. Plus, this warming soup recipe can be made in just one pot, making cleanup a breeze.

In this hearty soup recipe, you will learn how to prep and cook your veggies for the base of your soup. You’ll also learn the perfect ratio of broth and juice to get the best balance of flavor, and how to easily get the creamiest texture.

Close up of thick and creamy Autumn Squash Soup with a spoon.

As an environmental scientist, I try my best to always eat seasonally as best as I can! It’s one of the easiest and most delicious ways to support local farmers and improve your carbon footprint.

Green tip: Seasonal and local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions. Check when butternut squash is in season in your area with this Seasonal Food Guide.

Autumn Squash Soup Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Unsalted butter.
  • Garlic.
  • Butternut squash. I used frozen butternut squash that I bought already cubed from the freezer section, but of course, you can cube a whole butternut squash yourself.
  • Carrots, onions, and celery. The combination of these three vegetables cooked in fat (in this case, butter) is actually called a mirepoix and is a classic combination of veggies for a rich and flavorful base for soups and other dishes.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Vegetable broth. You can buy it at the store or help reduce your food waste by making your own veggie broth from vegetable scraps. Chicken broth will also work.
  • Apple juice.
  • Pumpkin puree.
  • Cream cheese.
  • Pumpkin pie spice. If you’re all out, check out this list of every pumpkin pie spice substitute.
  • Honey.
ingredients for autumn squash soup - salt, butter, honey, celery, cream cheese, vegetable broth, butternut squash, apple juice, garlic, pepper, pumpkin puree, carrots, pumpkin pie spice, yellow onion

How to Make Autumn Squash Soup


Cook Down the Veggies First

Peel and chop your onion, rinse and roughly chop your celery and carrots, and peel your garlic cloves. If need be, peel and cube your butternut squash as well.

You can leave your garlic cloves whole, and do not have to worry about a uniform chop on the veggies, since we will end up blending them anyway. However, they will cook quicker and blend more easily if they are in smaller pieces, so keep that in mind as you are chopping.

Add the veggies to a large pot with the butter, salt, and pepper and cook down for about 8-10 minutes, until the onions and translucent and the vegetables are fragrant.

Roughly chopped celery, carrots, and onions, cubed butternut squash, and peeled garlic.
Roughly chop your carrots, celery, and onion, peel your garlic, and prep your butternut squash if need be.
All vegetables for butternut squash based soup cooking down in a pot with butter, salt, and pepper.
Cook the veggies in butter with salt and pepper over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.

Cook the Vegetables in the Liquid

Next, add the vegetable broth and apple juice and stir. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

The liquid will help soften the vegetables, and this step allows all of the flavors to meld together. You’ll know you’re ready for the next step when your butternut squash and carrots are fork-tender.

Adding vegetable broth and apple juice to pot with veggies to make soup.
Add the vegetable broth and apple juice and stir.
Covering soup with a lid to simmer and cook down.
Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Blend the Butternut Squash Soup Until Smooth and Creamy

Once your vegetables are fork-tender, it’s time to blend your creamy soup up! Turn the heat off while you use an immersion blender to blend until the squash soup is perfectly smooth and creamy with no lumps.

Be careful—it’s hot! Make sure you submerge the immersion blender completely before you turn it on to avoid splatter.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor. Add the soup to the blender or processor and blend until smooth.

Keep in mind that it’s very hot, so I highly recommend leaving the cap slightly ajar so that steam can escape. Once blended, add it back to the pot.

Fork-tender vegetables that have cooked down in veggie broth and apple juice.
Before blending, make sure the squash and carrots are fork-tender.
Using an immersion blender to get a really smooth and creamy squash soup.
Use an immersion blender to blend until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can transfer the contents to a blender, blend, and then add it back to the pot.

Add the Pumpkin and Spice Last

Once your veggies have blended into a smooth soup, add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Use the immersion blender one last time to combine, or simply use a wooden spoon to stir.

Allow the pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, and cream cheese to cook with the other veggies over low heat for about 5 minutes and taste it.

If you’re happy with the sweetness level, leave it as is. If you’re used to an autumn squash soup that’s on the sweeter side (like the one you find at Panera), this is where the honey comes in.

I find that 2 tablespoons of honey gives this pumpkin-y soup the perfect amount of sweetness, but tailor it to your taste!

Adding pumpkin pie spice to flavor Autumn Squash Soup.
Add the pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and honey to taste. Heat and stir for about 5 minutes.

How to Serve Squash and Pumpkin Soup

This Autumn Squash Soup is hearty and filling enough to stand as a meal on its own. I love sprinkling on some pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) and some rustic bread.

Still, if you’re looking for some great pairings for this soup, here are some of my favorites:

Generous portion of Autumn Squash Soup with toasted bread.

How to Properly Store and Reheat Butternut Squash Soup

When stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, this creamy squash soup will last 5-7 days. The best way to reheat it is by simmering it in a pot for about 10-15 minutes until heated thoroughly, or in the microwave on high, covered for 2-3 minutes.

This soup can also be frozen for up to 6 months. Just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before following the same directions as above for reheating.

Green tip: Of the billions of tons of food wasted annually, 50% of food waste happens at home. Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and consuming leftovers.

Why this Autumn Squash Soup is the Best


  • The creamy, velvety, smooth texture. Blended to perfection!
  • The apple juice and honey work wonders to enhance the subtle sweetness of the carrots, butternut squash, and pumpkin in this soup.
  • Nothing beats homemade! The same great taste you get from Panera, but tailored to your own taste and made with fresh ingredients in your own kitchen.

If you’re loving this Autumn Squash Soup and want more Fall favorites, check out this Pumpkin Pasta and Coconut Sage Sauce for Butternut Squash Ravioli.

Autumn Squash Soup in a bowl garnished with pumpkin seeds.

Creamy One-Pot Autumn Squash Soup

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
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This Autumn Squash Soup is creamy and velvety, perfectly balanced between savory, and sweet, and incorporates tons of real veggies for depth of flavor. Only one pot required!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 30 ounces cubed butternut squash (I use frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional—see instructions)
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions
 

  • Peel and chop your onion, peel your garlic, and roughly chop your carrots and celery. If need be, peel and cube butternut squash.
    Prepped vegetables for Autumn Squash Soup on a chopping board.
  • To a large pot over medium heat add the butter, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, butternut squash, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the onions are translucent.
    Cooking Vegetables for Autumn Squash Soup
  • Add the vegetable broth and apple juice and stir. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns.
    Vegetables simmering in a combination of vegetable broth and apple juice.
  • Once your carrots and squash are fork-tender, turn the heat off. Use an immersion blender to blend until the vegetables are completely smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup to a blender, blend, and then pour it back into the pot.
    Blending Autumn Squash Soup with an immersion blender so that it is creamy and smooth.
  • Add the pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, and cream cheese and turn the heat back on to medium. Heat and stir to integrate.
    Butternut squash soup with cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice added.
  • Taste the soup to test the sweetness level. Add as much or little honey as you want to taste. To achieve the same sweetness level as Panera Autumn Squash Soup, add all 2 tablespoons of honey. Enjoy hot.

Pro Tips

  • This soup will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days.
  • For more easy and low clean-up recipes, check out this awesome list of my best One-Pot meals.
  • It’s hard to beat a good bowl of soup! Check out my most delicious selection of hearty soup recipes.
  • And if you’re craving more pumpkin, you gotta carve your way across to my Favorite Pumpkin Recipes!
Course Appetizers, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword Autumn Squash Soup, Pumpkin, Soup, Soup with Seasonal Vegetables, Vegetarian Soup
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