1/4 cup butter
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped
4 tart red apples, cored and diced (do not peel)
10 cups chicken broth
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat; add onion, celery and potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add butternut squash and apples. Cook for 3 minutes more, stirring constantly; add chicken broth, bay leaves and cinnamon.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and mash the vegetables until smooth. (Of course, an immersion blender works wonders--just be careful!!) Add cream, then season with salt and pepper.
Makes 12 servings.