Butternut Squash Soup

It's not innovative but it is delicious.  And at this time of year, a warm and soul-satisfying butternut squash soup will do. Below is my more wholesome variation of this recipe. Butternut squash is so velvety and savory sweet on its own - it is one of those vegetables that needs very little enhancement to take on a bit of decadence. Bonus: butternut squash, apples and onions store nicely for days, so they are great ingredients to stock up on next time you are at the grocery store or farmers market. This recipe is ridiculously easy to make, and almost impossible to mess up. For dinner tonight, I'll pair it with roasted Brussel sprouts and some crusty bread. 

   1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    3/4 cup apple cider
    One large butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
    4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 apple, cut into slices 

    1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the apple cider and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.
    2. Puree the soup. (I use an immersion blender.) Season with pepper and lightly with salt if needed. (This is one soup that really doesn't need salt to give it that flavor boost, so tread lightly with the salt shaker.)
    3. Heat a medium skillet. Add the butter and apple slices and cook over high heat until the apple is tender and golden around the edges, about 2 minutes.  
    4. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the sautéed apples.