Requires about an hour prep time so make it on the week end to serve later. The flavor improves.
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 small butternut or other winter squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled & cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into cubes
4 teaspoons butter, divided
2 cups sliced onion
1 1/2 cups peeled (or not), sliced Granny Smith or other tart apples
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper or more to taste
Combine broth, squash and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove squash and potato from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving broth. Mash.
While above is cooking, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and apple. Cook until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture. Increase heat. Melt remaining butter (3 teaspoons), add flour. Cook until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of broth; cook until slightly thickened.
Combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally if you wish to serve immediately. Or do not cook and cool immediately. When ready to serve heat until just hot plus 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Makes 8 cups.
I put the mixture in a food processor to make a smoother soup. The entire recipe took me about an hour to make.