autumnhealthy snackrecipes

Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup {slow cooker}

It’s finally starting to feel like autumn here in the desert and it is reflecting in my cooking.  The other day I was at Panera Bread and I ordered a “you pick two” as always … and then I saw the Autumn Squash Soup.  YEP!  Give it to me.  It was delicious.  When I arrived home I knew I would recreate the delicious harvest soup (and maybe improve upon it?).  I pulled out my slow cooker, where I make all my soups and set out to make my Copycat Panera Autumn Squash Soup! copycat panera autumn squash soup recipe The creamy soup just begs for crunchy garnishes so I made three! For a touch of sweetness, I roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in a maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt mixture until they were crunchy and nearly burned.  Oh my, these are a delicious addition!  I could snack on these all day. maple roasted chickpeas recipe in_the_know_mom With any meal involving pumpkin, I add pepitas, the delicious seeds inside every pumpkin that generally end up in the trash.  That is a shame because pepitas are delicious and can be prepared in a variety of flavors.  I also harvested the seeds from the butternut squash, because why not?  Since I already had the sweet maple roasted chickpeas, I went SPICY!  I simply tossed the dry seeds in a little olive oil, cayenne, curry powder, coriander, salt and pepper and roasted.  Maybe the best snack on the planet!  (I’m eating them right now as I type) spicy roasted pepitas and butternut squash seeds recipe The slow cooker makes for the easiest soups and since the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, 6-Quart came into my house, I’ve been making at least 2 soups a week!  This slow cooker is not my first but definitely my favorite. The slow cooker has three modes: program, probe and manual.  Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature — a really killer feature that makes cooking a pot roast easy peasy.  The thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel.  Program allows you to set the time and when that time is up, it automatically shifts to “warm”, which is AMAZING for those busy days, which is every day.  Manual allows for traditional slow cooking where no time is set, just the temperature (high, low, warm). The lid locks down tight and even has a resting spot for the spoon that comes with.  This makes the Set & Forget super great for parties and potlucks… no spills are coming out of the tight seal, no matter how bumpy the road gets. hamilton beach set & forget slow cooker review in_The_know_mom I so love this slow cooker and have been REALLY putting it to work.  I can’t express how many curries, stews, pot roasts and pulled pork creations have come out of this thing in the last couple months.  A LOT.  But today, we’re all Autumn Squash Soup.  I mimicked the Panera recipe as much as I could, but decided to throw in a couple other ingredients to brighten the dish — like tart green Granny Smith apples.  Yum! copycat panera autumn squash soup in_the_know_mom I popped most everything into the slow cooker, set it and forgot it for about 6 hours on low.  When the time was up, I used an immersion blender to get that creamy consistency I desired (making sure to pull out that bay leaf before).  mmmmm. copycat panera autumn squash soup recipe in_the_know_mom Add a little cream (or half and half like me) and you’re ready for garnish! copycat panera autumn squash soup recipe in_the_know_mom This creamy soup is hearty and yummy, perfect for cool autumn days.  The apple adds a brightness and the garnishes add the rest, sweet and spice.  I think I may like it more than the Panera Bread version! copycut panera autumn squash soup recipe

Autumn Squash Slow Cooker Soup


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups  vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbl honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half & half

Garnishes Maple Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 2 Tbl pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Spicy Roasted Pepitas

  • 2 C pepitas
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Add the onion, butternut squash and apple to the slow cooker. Pour the vegetable broth, apple cider, pumpkin puree, honey and spices over all of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 1/2 hours.
  2. Once vegetables are cooked and soft, puree the soup using an immersion blender.  Add in 1 cup (or to your desired consistency) half & half.
  3. While the soup is cooking in the slow cooker, make your garnishes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and pat dry.  Remove the skins by pinching them between your fingers. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Add in chickpeas, tossing to coat evenly.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, shaking every so often (every 15 min). When the chickpeas are crunchy, remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and line the baking sheet with fresh parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, toss the pepitas in all ingredients until evenly coated.  Dump onto the lined baking sheet and spread to create a one-seed layer.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Seeds should be golden and crunchy.
  5. Pour soup into a bowl and garnish with chickpeas and pepitas!

Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid (33967) Purchase your Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, 6-Quart on Amazon for $59.99 or win one below!


Hamilton Beach wants you to make your own #SlowCookerMeals this fall and is giving away a Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker ($59.99 ARV).  US only please. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Audrey
    October 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    This soup! Also pulled pork. :)

  2. Jana Coley
    October 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm — Reply

    Oh goodness…how do I pick just one? We just made beef tips, chicken for nachos…so much goodness.

  3. Linda Bradshaw
    October 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    I would like to make beef stew with my new slow cooker. Linda Bradshaw , teachinmomma123abc at yahoo dot com.

  4. October 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm — Reply

    I want to make a pot roast with carrots and potatoes.

  5. mita
    October 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm — Reply

    Soup and mashed potatoes.

  6. October 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm — Reply

    If I won I’d make Pulled Pork in my new slow cooker! Thank-you for a great #giveaway :-)

  7. Becky VanGinkel
    October 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm — Reply

    I would first make my grandma’s Homemade Scalloped Potatoes with Ham! Then Turkey w/ Stuffing Sandwiches!

  8. bethelderton
    October 28, 2014 at 6:32 am — Reply

    It is getting to be the time of year when a thick beef stew sounds delicious.
    Mary Beth Elderton

  9. October 28, 2014 at 8:09 am — Reply

    i would make a warm spiced chili and rice in the slow cooker

  10. October 28, 2014 at 10:15 am — Reply

    I would make my mom’s special potatoe soup which is a family recipe and sooo good.

  11. dedezoomsalot900300623
    November 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm — Reply

    I’ve been eager to try a new eggplant parmesan recipe. I’d make it in this slow cooker!

  12. ellen casper
    November 2, 2014 at 11:44 am — Reply

    I’d love to make chili in it!

  13. dedezoomsalot900300623
    November 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    I’m such a soup person in the fall, I’d probably make chili or potato soup.

  14. November 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm — Reply

    Well being this time of the year maybe a great soup or stew or Chili.

  15. Rochel S
    November 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm — Reply

    I would make shredded beef!

  16. Cassandra Eastman
    November 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm — Reply

    I’ve been wanting to make some chili!

  17. Sonya Morris
    November 3, 2014 at 8:21 am — Reply

    I want to make pulled pork!

  18. November 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm — Reply

    I would make overnight oatmeal for my hubs when he leaves early for school

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