Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Cider Cream
Source: Sunday Soup
5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
5 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups apple cider, divided
2/3 cup sour cream
5 crisp bacon slices, crumbled
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. Add in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and 1 cup cider and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Puree the soup in batches using either a blender, food processor (or immersion blender.) Return soup to pot and season with salt.
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. (Soup and cider cream can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
For garnish, thinly slice remaining apple and place over ladled soup in bowl. Drizzle the cider cream over the top and add the bacon.