Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Here is another butternut squash soup.  It has a slightly sweet flavor and would be great for Thanksgiving.  We eat it as a main dish soup.  It freezes well and is even better the next day!
Butternut Squash Apple Soup
4 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1-2 butternut squashes, peeled, seeded and diced (I always use 2)
3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 Tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart chicken broth
1 package cream cheese
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (if you don't have the real stuff, leave it out)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Garnish (optional)
1 apple, peeled, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
Pinch (2 grinds) of pepper
sour cream
Melt the 4 T. butter in a large sauce pan.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the squash and cook until soft, 10 minutes.
Add the apples and spices.  Cook another 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and enough water to just cover the veggies.
Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the veggies are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Add the cream cheese and stir to melt.  Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.  If you don't have an immersion blender (you really need to get one) blend in batches in a blender or food processor.
In the meantime, while the soup is simmering, prepare the garnish.
In a small saute pan, heat the butter.  To this add the apple and saute until soft.  Add the vinegar and salt and pepper.
Garnish each bowl of soup with a dollop of sour cream and the sauted apples if desired.

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