Gluten Free Butternut Squash Soup with Polenta Croutons
Prepare Firm Polenta; cover and chill as directed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large shallow roasting pan combine squash, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil; toss to coat. Spread squash in a single layer. Roast about 1 hour or until tender, stirring once.
Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. For polenta croutons, remove polenta from loaf pan and cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread polenta cubes in the prepared baking dish. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake about 1 hour or until polenta is lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add onion; cook about 20 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add roasted squash and 5 cups of the broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, transfer squash mixture to a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to Dutch oven. If necessary, stir in additional broth to reach desired consistency. Heat through. Top each serving with polenta croutons and, if desired, chives.
In a medium saucepan bring 2-1/2 cups water to boiling. In a medium bowl stir together cornmeal, the 1 cup cold water, and salt. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a slow boil. Pour into an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan. Cover; chill for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.