- 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
- 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.
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