Day 150: Cold Cucumber Soup

With apologies to poor poets, I hope to never become one, if this is what there'd be to eat.

That said, Day 150's (!) recipe comes from a charming little 1966 cookbook, The New Cookbook for Poor Poets and Others. It's written for poets and 'others' who are often out of funds and might be, as detailed by author Ann Rogers:
  • young wives and husbands making ends meet
  • students
  • musicians with uncopied scores
  • painters with unsold pictures
  • novelists in the middle of a novel
  • older people with small fixed stipends
  • people who only like to work occasionally
  • aspiring food bloggers (oh wait, 1966?)
It is 'devoted to sitting down meals, however humble' and introduces the 'nickel dinner' (forty years later, what $ would that be?).

It cites only three rules. 'Always have fresh bread. Always use butter. Always serve wine.' Good rules, all.

Its pages are arranged not by course nor by season but by relative cost. Tonight's recipe is found on page 22. (Nuff said?) Maybe next time I'll start looking in the 100s.

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 4 - 5 hours
Serves 4

3 cups yogurt (tonight, homemade non-fat yogurt, a little on the tangy side)
1 cup water
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (tonight from a poet's garden; if the next poor poet can afford a grater as well as a knife, grating is recommended)
1/2 cup currants (all poor poets should shop at Trader Joe's for the best prices on currants)
5 green onions, green and white parts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1 tablespoon minced parsley (tonight, from the garden)
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint (tonight, from the garden)
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk the yogurt and water in a large bowl til smooth. Stir in the other ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to meld.

Per Serving: 90 Cal (2% from Fat, 33% from Protein, 65% from Carb); 8 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 15 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 33 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 111 mg Sodium; 4 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

The New Cookbook for Poor Poets and Others by Ann Rogers
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I was looking for something new with cucumbers when I came across this post. Just wanted to say this book is on my shelf and has a couple of my favorites from over the years. Just nice to find someone else that has this vintage book.
    Shirley from PA


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna