Makes 6 cups

1 butternut squash, (about 1 lb), peeled,seeded, and coarsely diced
2 tart apples (Granny Smith), peeled, cored, & quartered
1 medium onion, chopped
Olive Oil
3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 cup sweet apple cider
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice
(A teaspoon of mulling spices will work here too.)
tt hot sauce – Tabasco or other – to taste
1 cup heavy Cream or half & half

1. In a large heavy pot saute the onion in a little olive oil until the onions are tender
2. Simmer the squash, apple, onion, salt, pepper and spices in the stock and cider until soft (about 20 minutes)
3. Purée the squash & apples, with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
4. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I think the soup needs some pepper, but I don’t want to see the black specs so I gave it a few dashes of hot sauce. Just enough to give some peppery character, not to make it hot.

At this point, the soup can be held or refrigerated. Reheat and add the cream when you’re ready to serve.

5. Stir in the cream, do not boil.
NOTE: For a thicker soup, simmer to reduce before adding the cream or use less liquid to cook the squash.

The magic of this soup is the contrast between the rich slightly sweet squash and the tart apples. If the apples were not tart enough, a small amount of cider vinegar or lemon juice may be added to provide the necessary and important acidity.