WINTER SOLSTICE STOCK

   

Just as meat-based stocks are improved by first roasting the bones, vegetable stocks can be transformed by simply cooking the vegetables in advance. In this recipe, you start by lightly roasting carrots, onions, and squash, which helps release some of their moisture and concentrate their natural sugars. Make sure the vegetables stay firm and don't take on any caramelization in the oven, otherwise your stock will be cloudy and dull in appearance. The end result is sweet, savory and shockingly delicious. I love to use this wintery stock for cooking risotto or chickpeas. You could also warm it up with some fresh ginger and lemon for an easy morning sipping tonic. - Marjory Sweet 

WINTER SOLSTICE STOCK 

1 medium sized winter squash of your choice (butternut or a kabocha works well here)

2 yellow onions

1/2 pound carrots

2 tablespoons black or green peppercorns

Kosher salt

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Stem and seed the squash and cut it into reasonably sized pieces; chop the carrots into similarly sized pieces (no need to peel them); and cut the onions in half (no need to peel those either).

Lay everything out on a sheet pan (no oil) and transfer to the oven for 45 minutes. The goal here is to release some moisture and concentrate the natural sugars in the vegetables. You do not want them to get completely tender or start browning.

Turn off the oven and leave the sheet pan in there for another 15 minutes (this helps further dehydrate everything).

Place the lightly roasted vegetables in a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover everything. 

Add the peppercorns and a few generous pinches of salt.

Turn the flame to medium and when the water comes to a vigorous simmer, lower it to a gentle simmer.

Maintain this heat for 3-4 hours. 

Taste the stock. It should taste pleasantly sweet and deeply flavorful. It should also have a lovely golden orange hue to it. 

Let cool on the stove and then store in the fridge in covered containers. 

Vegetable stocks do not keep as well as meat based stocks, so ideally use it up within 5 days. 


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