Chestnut soup + farmers’ market = Saturday’s comfort delight

Want a definition for the perfect comfort food on a saturday lunch? First, you need to step out of your home. Then walk or ride to Piazzetta Pasolini and Piazzetta Anna Magnani, aka the courtyard and gourmet dehors of the local Cinématheque, and there you are. Il mercato della terra is one of the several farmer’s markets of Bologna, and definitely the most chic and polished. Must be also thanks to the gigantic photos of the Lumière bros and the entire cast of Fellini’s Amarcord that overlook a little feast of apples, broccoli, bread, dried lavender, honeys, balsamic vinegars, plus millenials, hipsters and radical chic families all enjoying their sustainable saturday shopping.

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From autumn to spring it is only open on saturday mornings, with a few stalls specializing in local cheese, veggies and meat (yes, you my lovely vegans out there, there’s a lot of meat. Like, a lot), plus a very nice stall cooking fish from the near Adriatic on the spot. But if you really want a taste of heaven to get you through the winter, have no doubt and walk straight towards the little corner inhabited (from early morning to early afternoon) by Stefano Fogacci of Agriturismo Tizzano di Monteombraro di Zocca (MO).

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Also selling cheeses and serving portions of lasagna, he has in his (extremely cheap: 4 euros for a very filling plate) chestnut  soup the secret of his success. And of my personal saturday delight. Echoing of old flavors, this soup is a symphony of ingredients that create magic by simplicity. Chestnut, of course, and then two types of beans, teeny tiny meatballs (dammit, I wish I hadn’t known), a lovely, surprisingly thin broth that lets you imagine (recipe is obviously a secret) red wine and tasty onions, and a little splash of grated cheese that, mind you, must only be mixed with the rest of the soup (this is told conscientiously to every single customer every single time) once you’ve finished half of it, to enjoy the remaining half with a new twist. How cool is that? Go, try, taste, let me know. And enjoy your comfort saturday with a glass of red wine from a local wine producer, like I’m doing here with my friend Savino.

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