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LOCAL ANSWER

Food & Drink

Make the most of January’s delicious seasonal foods

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fter the wonder of the festive season when ice and snow are considered an integral part of the Christmas atmosphere, January is usually seen as a gloomy month with little to look forward to. Yet it really doesn’t have to be like that because it brings with it seasonal food that is surprisingly fresh and rich. Root vegetables are in great supply, leafy greens are plentiful and so good for you, oranges and tangerines are everywhere and relatively cheap and goose is still readily available. Here is a idea to make the most of the season’s best. Broccoli and Pasta Soup (serves four) The family will love this healthy and delicious start to a meal. It’s not only very warming it’s also low in calories, full of flavour and very cheap to make. You’ll need: 3 tablespoons of olive oil; 2 chopped garlic cloves; 2 onions, finely diced, 2 sticks of celery, finely diced; 400g can of peeled plum tomatoes; 1 tablespoon of tomato puree; 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon of sugar; 1.3 litres of vegetable stock; 500g of broccoli cut into florets; 75g macaroni or other small pasta; a bunch of fresh whole basil leaves; grated parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil for serving. Method 1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the garlic, onions, celery and carrot. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover and sweat down for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Squash the tomatoes in a colander so that you have a pulp and no juices. Add to the pot with the tomato purée, vinegar, sugar, stock and broccoli. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, covered, for 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and stir into the soup along with the basil. Season to taste. Divide between bowls. Put the Parmesan and olive oil on the table so that people can help themselves. PAGE 26 | Local Answer - Issue 34

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