1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 red or golden apples, peeled, cored, and chopped, plus 1 apple, finely diced and tossed in lemon juice, for garnish (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups apple cider
2 cups water, plus more if needed
1/2 jalapeno pepper minced
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add squash, and cook, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes.
Add apples, salt, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne, black pepper, 1/4 of the minced jalapeno and 1 cup water, 1 cup cider (just enough to cover). Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Puree in batches in blender until smooth, and return to saucepan. Heat over low, thinning with water and cider as necessary. To serve, ladle into shallow bowls; garnish with diced apples and jalapeno if desired.