By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
If you're lucky enough to travel to Italy in October, you are in for a treat. The tourists have scuttled back home after peak season, the oppressive heat has backed away, the Italian natives have returned to their shops, and the evenings are cool with an occasional rain to freshen the piazzas. There is nothing like Autumn in Firenze.
This time of year is Pavlovian for me—the cooler temperatures always make my mouth water for homemade soups (la zuppa) concocted from delicious seasonal vegetables from the Mercato di San Lorenzo. La zuppa is the ultimate Italian comfort food for those chilly nights that wait just around the corner.
So, imagine sitting in the Piazza della Signoria watching the October skies above Michelangelo's David (the original is sculpture is not far away in the Galleria dell'Accademia), Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus, the Nettuno by Ammannati, Giambologna's majestic equestrian statue of Cosimo I and the dramatic The Rape of the Sabine Women in the Loggia dei Lanzi. Now imagine an elegant Italian cameriere serving you a piping hot bowl of delicious soup and pouring you a hearty glass of Brunello di Montalcino —the king of wines. Can you imagine it? Ah.... Food, Wine and Art—it must be Firenze!
Here are two of my favorite go-to soups that are indicative of my hometown. They are simple to make and a perfect October meal with bread for dipping alongside a simple green salad and mandatory glass of vino.