Pumpkintastic! Au Bon Pain’s Harvest Pumpkin Soup

In the spirit of Rocktober Spooktacular, I present Pumpkintastic!

I’m obsessed with pumpkin, and this time of year fuels my obsession. I’m going to try a new feature where I review as many pumpkin items as I can think of.

(Pictures might or might not be included. Why not? If I have to re-try an item just for the picture, that leaves time for fewer items to try, and that leaves me with more pounds on my butt. I’ll try to be as descriptive as possible.) 

The first item I’ve chosen to review is Harvest Pumpkin Soup from Au Bon Pain. It has a warm orange-brown color, like liquid pumpkin pie, but you can see flecks of pepper and tiny slivers of carrots and celery if you look closely. 

Harvest Pumpkin Soup is good for so many reasons.

  • It’s fairly low in calories, although you have to be careful not to consume too much in several days because it’s high in fiber, and I’ll leave it at that. 
  • It’s warm and comforting. 
  • It has the sweet/salty thing going on. You can definitely taste the pumpkin, but there are also hints of pepper and other spices (besides the normal cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg, which is present too).

My favorite place to enjoy Harvest Pumpkin Soup is the Au Bon Pain in the U. S. Bank building on 6th Street in downtown Minneapolis. Also, the manager there (Diego) is awesome. He’s really nice, and he’s been working there for several years, and he worked his way up from the bottom. 

For a while, I was having some morale issues with my place of employment, and even though I could still see the building from the restaurant, it was a welcome escape. It was incredibly soothing to order a bowl of soup, and while it didn’t always fill me with hope, it filled me with warmth. (Like a hug in a mug.) It was consistently rich and flavorful.

I’d heard rumors that the franchise was going to expand in the Twin Cities, and they opened a location in Bloomington a couple years ago, but it has since closed. I’m sure with the economy the way it is, they won’t be opening any new stores soon. The franchise works well downtown, serving coffee and pastries in the morning and salads, sandwiches, and soups at lunch. It was my favorite lunch spot when I worked downtown, and I’ve returned there on weekends to stock up on containers of my beloved soup. 

As with many pumpkin items, they usually begin serving the soup in October, and stop sometime in January. Its limited availability makes it all the more desirable to me. 

Rating (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest): 5 pumpkins

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2 Responses to “Pumpkintastic! Au Bon Pain’s Harvest Pumpkin Soup”

  1. The Cheap Chick Says:

    “A hug in a mug.” If that doesn’t sound EXACTLY like what we need in MN during the winter, nothing does. Thank you for the recommendation!

  2. Michele Says:

    You’re welcome! And the rest of the soups look amazing, too. They’ve expanded their selection since I stopped working downtown. I think I would eat there every day for lunch if I could, physically and financially.

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