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.
  • 3lbwinter squash,
 such as butternut, delicata, or acorn, halved
  • 1/4cupgrapeseed oil, divided

  • 1/2lbwhite onions, cut into small dice

  • 1lbleeks, dark green parts removed, cut into small dice
  • 1lbcarrots, cut into small dice
  • 1/2small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped, fronds removed
  • 1/2head garlic, unpeeled
  • 2qtfiltered water, cold
  • 2sprigs thyme
  • 8black peppercorns

  • 1bay leaf
  • 4sprigs flat-leaf parsley

  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature setting, preferably 150°F (65°C) and no more than 170°F (75°C).
  2. 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 grapeseed oil. Place in a single layer on one or two parchment-covered sheet trays. 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.
  3. In a medium stockpot, heat the remaining grapeseed oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and cook while stirring, until soft but not brown, about 7 minutes. Add the water, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf to the pot; add more water to cover the vegetables, if necessary. Maintain the heat for 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 and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and rest the stock on the stove, about 10 minutes. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it on the lid of 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.
  5. 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.
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