• 4 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup Apple Cider
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh chives

In soup pot, sauté squash, leeks, carrots, and celery in butter until slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Boil about 10 minutes to reduce a bit and intensify flavors.  Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are tender, about 45 minutes.

Purée soup.  An immersion blender is best.  if you don’t have one, use a conventional blender but do be careful! Return soup to pan. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider.

(Soup and cider cream can both be made 1 day ahead.)

To serve:  Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream and op with chives.