twelve things, continued-continued:

06 o pleasing recipe! this week's design*sponge "in the kitchen with" offering, a roasted butternut squash, onion, and garlic soup from portland's amy ruppel, was quite easy to throw together and most satisfying. the version i made for us went something like this:

- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 large white onion
- 1 large head of garlic
- 1 1/2 qts vegetable broth (i used "better than boullion" vegetable base, for i am cheap)
- crème fraîche
- fresh thyme
- penzeys northwoods seasoning (a combination of salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and chipotle)*
- salt and pepper
- olive oil

preheat oven to 425. cut squash in half, then scoop out and discard seeds and stringy bits. remove the skin with a sharp peeler (this was a bitch, as butternut squash is extremely sturdy and i have a right-handed peeler - if you're handy with a paring knife, that would work, too). peel some of the flesh into ribbons (i peeled about a cup's worth - this turned out to be joe's favorite part, so i'm setting aside twice as much next time) and set aside for garnish.** dice remaining squash and place in a large baking dish. toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste. place on bottom rack of the oven. rough chop onion and place in a second baking dish; toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place in oven above the squash. lop off the top of the garlic, place it in a nest of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, and wrap it up; place in oven beside the onion. roast squash, onion, and garlic for...about 45 minutes (amy was vague on this, but that's how long it took in our oven), or until tips of onion are slightly brown and squash is tender. scrape squash and onion (and now-flavorful olive oil from the dishes) into a large soup pot; remove garlic from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. squeeze cooled garlic directly into soup pot (i used a 4 qt one and had plenty of room), add stock, then puree with stick blender*** until smooth. warm soup over medium heat for a few minutes, then serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a smattering of the browned squash ribbons, and the leaves from a few springs of thyme. serves...3? as a second/main course.

*having this on hand was a lucky break; i picked some up the last time i visited penzeys at grand central station because my friend jacob had recommended it. smart man, that jacob.

**20 minutes or so before your roasting is done, toss these babies in some olive oil, spread them on a sheet of foil, and roast them at 425 in the toaster oven until they're curled and brown at the edges. amy puts them in the oven with the onion, garlic, and squash, but i liked how close they were to the heating element in the toaster. also, i'm not sly enough to handle roasting four things in the same general area without, say, maiming a cat.

***for my money, the stick blender is the single greatest kitchen gadget of all time.

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