Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and sauté until translucent; this sweetens the onion. Add the squash and the apple and sauté for a few more minutes. Cover with the stock and add bay leaf, thyme, and honey. Salt lightly, bring to a boil, and simmer until squash is very soft.
Remove bay leaf and thyme. Puree the soup in a food processor or run it through the food mill.
Return the soup to the pot. Add the pepper and, if desired, the cheese and heavy cream. Stir over a low flame until the cheese is melted and the soup is warm. Serve immediately with our Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay.
Omit the heavy cream and pair with Russian River Valley Pinot Gris.