Sunday, July 8, 2018

Cold and Creamy Tomato-Cucumber Soup (or "Pink Cucumber Float"): Cooking Retro with Betty Crocker for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had some of my retro and vintage cookbooks out lately. They are fun to look through for entertainment, cooking ideas and inspiration, and the occasional and often quirky recipe that catches my eye and begs to be made. 

One of my favorites is my 1967 Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook. I adore the cover--it makes me think of an upscale Brady Bunch house and the menus for Gay Supper Parties and Bright Little Brunches and Lunches, and Happy Holiday Specials. I tagged a couple of interesting soups to add to my "to-make" stack, including the somewhat unfortunately named Pink Cucumber Float --a cold creamy tomato soup with diced cucumber and a touch of curry powder and Worcestershire sauce. Although there is a breeze and less humidity this weekend than we have had the past few weeks, cold soup is still welcome.

The recipe is in the Harvest Feast dinner and Betty recommends "Begin dinner in the living room with mugs of the cold, conversation-making soup to be sipped around the coffee table."

I needed to make some healthy changes to the recipe--replacing the buttermilk with a vegan substitute of coconut milk and vinegar for the buttermilk tang. I also didn't want to buy tomato soup concentrate because of all of the sodium and other ingredients I don't want to eat (Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Potassium Chloride, Flavoring, Citric Acid, Lower Sodium Natural Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Monopotassium Phosphate--480 mg of sodium) so I replaced it with a large box of tomato puree, mixed with a little roasted garlic powder. I did leave in the Worcestershire sauce as there isn't too much (if you want a vegan version they make them or you could sub in Bragg's liquid aminos or coconut aminos too). Finally, I did increase the curry powder to 1 teaspoon, just because. My changes are in red below.

Pink Cucumber Float
Adapted from Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook
(Serves 6)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp curry powder (I used 1 tsp)
1 can (10 1/2 oz) condensed tomato soup (I used boxed pureed tomatoes + 1 tsp roasted garlic powder & sea salt to taste)
2 cups buttermilk (I used 2 cups coconut milk + 2 tsp white wine vinegar)
1 medium cucumber, finely chopped
cracked black pepper
6 cucumber slices

Blend Worcestershire sauce and curry powder; stir into tomato soup. Slowly add buttermilk, stirring until blended. Add chopped cucumber. Chill thoroughly. Sprinkle pepper over each serving; garnish with a cucumber slice. 

Notes/Results: A creamy and tasty cold soup. The curry is present but even with the increased amount it isn't a strong flavor--it's just savory and good. The Worcestershire adds umami, along with the tang of the buttermilk substitute and the coconut milk makes it ultra creamy with the diced cucumber adding texture. I can see how the new 1967 hostess could feel a little fancy and exotic serving it. ;-) I'd change the title up and call it a tomato-cucumber bisque. A fun kitchen experiment that I'd happily make again.   

 Let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is around.

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing --Oil Free and said, "Avocados contain a significant amount of fat- healthy good fat- but still fat. When I decided to make this tasty creamy avocado salad dressing, I decided not add any additional oil. ... This delicious creamy avocado vegan salad dressing adds lots flavor and depth to whatever salad you are eating. I love it over any kind of greens."

Welcome Nancy of Colors 4 Health, joining Souper Sundays for the first time this week with her Vegan Coleslaw. Nancy said, "Vegan coleslaw is a versatile dish, one that goes great at a summer picnic, potluck, or barbecue. Just as good, serve it anytime during the year. Savor its flavor at lunch or dinner with a bean and rice dish, sandwich, or alongside a hummus wrap for an economical, energizing meal."

Debra of Eliot's Eats brought Toasted Quinoa Garden Salad and said, "The tomatoes are doing so well, that I decided to whip up another salad for this month’s IMK. This time I have more of a recipe though. ... The tomatoes, cucumber and basil came from the garden. (Sorry no photo of the cucumber. It had gotten lost at the bottom of the vine and when I found it it was almost yellow. I was afraid it would be bitter, but it wasn’t and was a good addition to the salad.)"

Mahalo to everyone who joined in with Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.) 

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I recently discarded my old Betty Crocker cookbooks from the 1970's- I don't think I actually ever made a recipe from them! I love the pink color of this soup and would consider making it with your healthier adaptations-Looks good!!

  2. Thanks Deb for hosting. Just love summer salads so couldn't resist joining in. I look forward to visiting again.

  3. I hope tacos count as a sandwich kinda thing but if not, no worries, i will be back next week with another submission! Love the cool soup, it has been horribly hot.
    I still have so many of the older cookbooks too. Love looking through them. Sometimes I adapt a recipe from/them.


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