Souped Up

A hearty fish stew from the Soupbox cookbook
Spicy African Fish Stew
Fish stew makes for a hearty lunch or elegant dinner.

Our problem with The Soupbox Cookbook? Each recipe sounds better than the next--especially at this time of year.

The Chicago lunchtime legend, whose two locations each ladle out a dozen fresh soups daily, has become known over the past 15-plus years for its healthful creations. And its new collection of more than 100 recipes ($27) is a testament to that.

You'll find everything from vegetable-based bowls of goodness, like the white-bean-and-escarole soup, to wholesome poultry numbers, such as healthy rosemary-chicken dumpling, to substantial stews, including a Persian lamb-and-spinach version. The final chapter details four easy-to-make stocks--vegetable, chicken, fish and beef--to ensure that each recipe has maximum flavor.

Our Test Kitchen whipped up the book's Spicy African Fish Stew (see the recipe), redolent with harissa, cumin, turmeric and a pinch of saffron. Chopped dried apricots add texture and sweetness; the dish would make for a hearty lunch, but is elegant and complex enough to serve at dinner.

We're bowled over.

What's your favorite winter vegetable? Tweet your answer to @TastingTableGT today for a chance to win a copy of one of our favorite 2012 cookbooks, Ripe. One winner will be announced today at 5 p.m. EST.


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