2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch red pepper flakes
pinch ground nutmeg
2 to 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and cut into chunks
4 to 5 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or half and half (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In large pot, melt a tablespoon of butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash, apple, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and stock. Bring to simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Puree the soup directly in the pot using a handheld immersion blender until the soup is creamy-smooth. Or, working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree, about 1 minute per batch or until smooth, then place back in the pot.
Add the sugar and cream or half and half. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Reheat if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve.