Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

First and foremost, I'd like to thank the Academy -- I've been dreaming of this moment since I was a little girl. Wow. Where to start? Oh, let me just get out this list here that I've tucked into my dress. Okay, here we go: Thanks to Orangette, whose blog post inspired the proportions and ideas of my soup. Thanks to Peter for testing the recipe first and providing me with such constructive feedback. Thanks to Alex and everyone in production for their incredible blender work. Of course, thanks to my mom for suggesting such great flavors and for providing me with incredible moral support when I call you frantically from the grocery store. Thanks to my soup pot, you are my rock. And finally, thanks to everyone who tasted it and ate it and asked for seconds -- I don't know where I would be without you.

6 pounds butternut squash, chopped into 2-inch pieces
12 gala apples, chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 granny smith apples, julienned, or cut into very thin strips (for garnish)
3 cups onion, finely chopped
3 quarts chicken stock
3 cups apple cider
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Heat about 3-4 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, and saute until soft and slightly browning. Add the butternut squash and gala apples, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. Next, add the apple cider and bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Afterwards, reduce the heat to medium and cook partially-covered under the squash is soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer batches of the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return everything to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a few slices of the granny smith apples.