5 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. dried sage leaves, crumbled
2-1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled , seeded, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 c chicken stock or canned broth
1 c chopped leeks, white and pale green parts only
1-1/2 c apple cider
1/2 chopped, peeled carrots
2/3 c sour cream
1/2 chopped celery
1/2 whipping cream
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped chopped fresh chives
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Melt butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add squash, leeks, carrots and celery, sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add stock and one cup of cider, bring to a boil. reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in small batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pan. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in a small saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup about 5 minutes. Cook.