I melted some butter in a sauce pan and added the chopped squash, celery, and onion. For some reason, the recipe didn't say to chop the onion or celery, it probably meant to, but I followed the recipe. It all worked out in the end, but chopping could have made this step easier:
Then I added those vegetables to the crockpot with the apples, thyme, and sage. That cooked on high for about 8 hours:
When it was all cooked, I pureed the whole lot with my new immersion blender that I got for Christmas. This is the first time I used it. It was SO much easier than transferring everything to the blender in batches!
The pumpkin seeds were toasted in water and honey in a small skillet:
The soup was served with blue cheese and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on top:
This soup turned out very delicious! The flavors are deep with the fresh herbs, aromatic vegetables, and the vegetable stock. The apples give it a nice, but not too strong sweetness, as do the pumpkin seeds. And the blue cheese gives it just the right complexity of flavor. It would make a good first course to a meal, but I don't think my husband would want as the entire meal. I will send him to work tomorrow with a portion of this along with some leftover ham from yesterday.
There are some variations on this meal listed at the bottom of the recipe. It says "Add lump crabmeat or serve with cinnamon and butter toasted croutons." It also gives a description of the pumpkin seeds: "Pepitas, or shelled pumpkin seeds, are available at specialty and Latin food stores and make a great garnish to almost any soup or salad. They can be sweetened and spiced as desired and lightly toasted in a skillet on the stovetop."