Is it possible to totally get rid of the 'recent windows' dock section in macOS 11.6 Big Surr?
I've disabled 'Show recent applications in Dock' but it doesn't affect this dock section.
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If you do not want to see the application icons as shown in your first screen shot between the Trash and the vertical bar to the left, then check:
[√] Minimize windows into application icon
As shown in your second screen shot.
For any existing windows you need to un-minimize them and re-minimize them so the existing ones will no longer show.