Winter Squash Stock
This stock is made by dehydrating winter squash to intensify sweetness. The drying process makes the squash sturdy, which prevents it from breaking down quickly and helps maintain clarity in the stock.
This recipe is adapted from Rachael Mamane’s book Mastering Stocks and Broths: A Comprehensive Culinary Approach Using Traditional Techniques and No-Waste Methods (Chelsea Green Publishing 2017) and is printed with permission from the publisher.
What You Will Need
- 3 lb. (1.4 kg) winter squash, such as butternut, delicata, or acorn, halved
- 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) grapeseed oil, divided
- 1⁄2 lb. (225 g) white onions, cut into small dice
- 1 lb. (455 g) leeks, dark green parts removed, cut into small dice
- 1 lb. (455 g) carrots, cut into small dice
- 1⁄2 small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped, fronds removed
- 1⁄2 head garlic, unpeeled
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature setting or a dehydrator, preferably to 150°F and no more than 170°F. Carefully slice the squash into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick half-moons, keeping the seed structure intact. In a large bowl, toss the squash slices with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Place in a single layer on one or two parchment-covered sheet trays and bake until dry to the touch, about 8 to 10 hours, turning once in the middle of the cooking time. Turn off the oven and cool on the rack.
- In a medium stock pot, heat the remaining grapeseed oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, leeks, carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook while stirring until soft but not brown, about 7 minutes. Add the dehydrated squash, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf to the pot, along with enough cold water just to cover the vegetables. Bring to a low boil then lower to heat to maintain a gentle simmer, skimming the surface as soon as scum appears. Cook until the liquid is golden and flavorful, about 45 minutes. Add the parsley, simmer for a additional 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and rest the stock on the stove for 10 minutes. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a container large enough to hold the liquid contents of the pot. Carefully ladle the stock from the pot into the strainer, leaving any cloudy liquid at the bottom of the pot. Discard the solids. If a more concentrated flavor is desired, return the stock to a clean pot and simmer until reduced. Taste and season with salt. Chill the stock in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to expedite the cooling process. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze in smaller containers for longer storage.