If you had asked me this time last year whether I considered German to be a particularly vegetarian-friendly cuisine, I would have laughed. My opinion wouldn’t have been based on any actual travel to Germany, only on some limited experiences in German restaurants (including mounds of smoked sausages ingested in central Texas). But since when does the lack of substantive research get in the way of a knee-jerk reaction?
Anyhow, that was all before I knew the name Tim Mälzer. He’s a chef, author and TV host in Germany whose new book, “Green Box ,” has been taunting me from a position on my desk for almost six months now. He’s not vegetarian, and neither is his Hamburg restaurant, Bullerei, but his passion for cooking vegetables radiates from the book’s colorful pages. I’ve bookmarked almost a dozen recipes to try — cabbage with pappardelle squares, lemon salad with ricotta cakes, broccoli cannelloni — but the book didn’t make the leap from desk to kitchen until I needed a nice, easy soup to soothe me after too many weeks of indulgent holiday meals.