If you're anything like me, you know that nothing dispels the winter chills quite like a hot bowl of soup. I am a frequent shopper at Trader Joes, and nothing compares to the autumn seasonal products. I have absolutely fallen in love with TJ's Autumnal Harvest Soup, and am always devastated when I go in the store to get more in late November only to realize the season has already passed. I could describe the soup to you myself, but the Trader Joe's website puts it perfectly:
"Trader Joe’s Autumnal Harvest Soup exists as a tribute to both the flavors and feelings of fall. In each bowl, you’ll find a medley of some of our favorite chunky harvest produce – including butternut squash, pumpkin, and California tomatoes – seasoned with earthy herbs like rosemary and sage and finished with rich heavy cream. It’s sweet, smooth, and savory; it’s a consummate comfort food, created to keep you warm and cozy all autumn long. (We recommend having extra jars on hand for other seasons, as that warm and cozy feeling may be needed long after autumn has passed.)"
They weren't kidding about keeping extra jars on hand, and I made the mistake of not stocking up when I had the chance. Naturally, I took to the internet to find a copycat recipe of the scrumptious soup, and for once the internet failed me. I couldn't find a recipe ANYWHERE. At that point, I made it my personal mission to recreate the soup myself.
After multiple tests and attempts to remember all of the aspects of the flavor profile, I finally had a recipe that tasted pretty darn close to the original in my estimation. I will say that I blended my soup at the very end for a smoother texture compared to the original's chunkier consistency. In short, the blending is optional. My recipe also does not include heavy cream like the original does. I personally didn't think it needed it and figured I'd save myself the calories. However, if you want to add heavy cream to the final product, go for it!
I used an instant pot to cook this, but this recipe can also be used on low heat for 8 hours in a crock pot or in a dutch oven.
This soup freezes extremely well, and you can practice great recycling habits by storing leftover soup into old soup or pasta sauce jars. Just pull a jar out of the freezer the day before you want to eat it and heat it up on the stove top.
This soup is fantastic paired with an herbed goat cheese grilled cheese or on its own topped with olive oil and pumpkin seeds.
Copy Cat Trader Joe's Autumnal Harvest Soup
Yield: 8 Servings (Four Large Mason Jars Full)
- 2 medium butternut squash
- 1 delicata or acorn squash (optional)
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 carton of chicken or vegetable broth (more if you want a thinner soup)
- 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 can of pumpkin puree
- Fresh sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut all squash in half and remove seeds. Using a brush, put the maple syrup on the squash and line them on a roasting pan. Roast the squash for 45 minutes. (Check on the smaller squash at 30 minutes.) When a fork can easily go through the skin of the squash, pull the pan out of the oven.
2. Once the squash has cooled, cut into chunks and set aside. Using the sautee setting on your Instant Pot, sweat the onion and shallot. Add in the cubes of sweet potatoes, can of tomatoes, and a bit of the broth. Once boiling, add in the squash, pumpkin, sage leaves, and the rest of the broth.
3. Set Instant Pot to slow cook for three hours.
4. Once the veggies are all soft, use an immersion blender or food processor to make the soup smooth or to achieve desired consistency.
5. Adjust taste with salt, pepper, herbs, and/or broth. If you want to add in heavy cream, mix it in now.
Let me know how the recipe works for you or if you have any suggestions!