• 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 3/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Chopped fresh chives

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium to high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until vegetables get soft, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. 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. Remove soup from heat and allow to sit for about 30 minutes to cool down. Working in batches, purée soup in blender or use a stick blender directly in the pot. Return soup to pan. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. Bring soup to simmer. Mix in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cider cream. Top with chives.

Serve with Januik Bacchus Vineyard Riesling.

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