Yield: 6 to 8 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
8½ cups (1-inch cubes) butternut squash (about 2 small squash)
3 cups peeled, cored, and chopped Granny Smith apple (about 3 apples)
10 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups vegetable broth
Garnish: fresh sage

1. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic until translucent,
approximately 8 minutes. Stir in carrot and celery; cook 5 minutes more. Add squash, apple, thyme, salt, cumin, pepper, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately 25 minutes. Remove and discard thyme.

2. Working in batches, transfer vegetables to the container of a blender with a slotted spoon; purée until smooth. Reserve broth. Transfer puréed vegetables to a large saucepan. 

3. Reheat puréed vegetables over medium heat; thin with reserved broth until soup reaches desired consistency. Garnish with sage, if desired.