When November approaches, umbrellas crop up all over Florence. I asked Elena Galluzzi, a busy Florentine who runs a family hotel here, what she likes to cook this time of the year. Her answer? ‘Hearty bean soups and stews,’ she said, ‘a truly traditional dish to prepare when the days grow shorter and the weather turns rainy and cold.’ Elena loves to cook and entertain, and she does both with passion and flair. She is the type of cook who honestly loves to be in her kitchen and all of her recipes are of the old school—that is, they require both time and focus. But never fear. Her recipes provide for excellent results that will put you into her camp for sure. No shortcuts here, just honest and pure local fare cooked the way generations of Tuscans before her have done.