Ingredients

5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, cut in half
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage leaves
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream – optional
Chopped fresh chives

Directions

1. Season halved squash with a little oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash skin side up in a 400
degree oven until soft all the way through.

2. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot and celery; sauté until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Mix in apples, brown sugar, thyme and sage. Add squash

3. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

4. Working in batches, puree soup in blender, or in a food processor. You may need to add additional water or stock to thin soup. Return soup to pot and simmer, adjust seasonings if necessary.

5. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool.

6. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

7. Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream, optional. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.

Serves 10-12