Butternut Squash Soup

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.

Place sour cream in a small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider. You can make the soup and cider cream 1 day ahead ahead of time and refrigerate. Bring soup to a simmer and add the whipping cream, make sure this is not boiling or the cream will curdle. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with the cider cream.