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It's the small things, I find, that keep one going: a decent bagel once in a while; a good grilled-cheese sandwich; and the occasional bowl of zuppa di pasta e fagioli. (For the uninitiated, that is white-bean soup with pasta.) There've been times when white-bean soup has saved my life. Or maybe I should say there've been times when La Mora (912 Lovett, 522-7412) has saved my life. La Mora serves the best white-bean soup ($4.95) in Houston. Just looking at it makes me happy: the pasta green and white, and the soup a bright, bright orange. This is a soup with character: rich and hearty and so dense, you could stand a spoon in it. In the best Tuscan tradition, there's very little liquid here: just beans -- lots and lots of them -- and several cloves of garlic. When Italians speak of abbondanza, this is what they mean.

 
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