skip to Main Content

June 6, 2023. Around the World in 80 Ways, eating very, very well all the Way. 80 recipes based on traditional healthy cuisines from around the globe. From places and times that never heard of diabetes, overweight/obesity and cardiovascular disease epidemics. These very different places had very different diets. But all these diets have two things in common: no highly processed foods and very low daily glycemic loads.

Today’s Way is about the time of the Great Depression. The wolf at the door was hunger. Or scarcity. Or anxiety about scarcity. Something that’s very right now for a lot of people, don’t you think? Time for this cool, flavorful lettuce soup.

Sip this salad: Lettuce Soup

M.F.K. Fisher wrote How To Cook A Wolf at the tail end of the last Depression. So she wrote recipes for making the most of scarce resources. How to stretch a budget and get maximum nourishment, pleasure, entertainment and satisfaction from what you have. Without worrying about what you don’t have. At least when you’re at the dining table. When the meal is an important social experience that reinforces relationships.

I go back to this every June when I start thinking about lettuce. All the remarkably tasty greens I start getting from my CSA farm. I always make this lettuce soup.

One delicious soup I have gradually evolved is made from one quart of garden lettuces, scallions, parsley, herbs, all chopped fine and then ground to paste in the mortar. Slowly I add seasoning and one quart of rich milk, and then chill it very well … for a summer lunch“. From How to Cook a Wolf.

This is really a salad cross-dressing as a soup. Lettuce and herbs with milk. It’s surprisingly satisfying. Almost shockingly flavorful. And it’s very, very cooling. When it’s too hot to bother making dinner, this is a wonderful dinner to make.

The World’s Greatest Hits
No deprivation diet here. Just a focus on better, low glycemic calories. Because all calories are not created equal. No weird food. Just the most loved meals around. The tasty, satisfying stuff. Buen viaje. Buen provecho.

The goal: a full-day Glycemic Load of less than 80.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
Less than a dollar per serving for a flavorful, light, refreshing lunch or dinner.

Cost Comparison
I haven’t found anyone near you or me who serves lettuce soup, but I did check out the menu at P.F. Chang’s, chain home of the lettuce wrap. They want $4.95 for their “Shanghai cucumbers” appetizer: sliced, cold cucumbers sprinkled with soy and sesame.

Let’s Do The Math
30 minutes to walk off all 150 calories in a 2-cup bowl. 146 from the milk and 4 from the greens. A big serving of Vitamins A and D and calcium. Near-zero Glycemic Load.

A very big hunk of that great, crusty no-kneading bread adds 180 calories. A big side of that buttery brioche: 240 calories. None of it sticks to your sides if you walk or garden another 45 minutes.

Find a CSA near you

Find a Farmers’ Market

Meet my farmers

Back To Top