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.