We’re Cooking: Cold Melon Soup

I make a lot of dishes with watermelon but up until now that has really been my only melon to work with in recipes.  Cantaloupe was on sale at my local market the other day, and samples proved how fresh and juicy it tasted.  Always out to try something new, I picked up a few determined to create a new masterpiece with the coral colored melon that night.  I cut one in half knowing I would do something with it and the prosciutto I had bought earlier in the day, creating a fresh take on an Italian classic….but what to do with the rest?

Grill it and add it to salad….certainly a delicious option, but I already had the wedge salad planned for the menu and somehow I didn’t think the bacon, blue cheese and capers would go with the melon.  I did, however, had a mound of fresh mint picked from the garden, along with a bunch of fresh basil….knowing how much I loved my watermelon gazpacho, I opted for a melon soup.  But, in somewhat of a different manner to my norm, I opted to only include these few ingredients along with a touch of white wine, a bit of lime juice and zest, lemon juice and a healthy pinch of salt…as I love salt on honeydew and cantaloupe.  Clean, simple and potentially one of the best soups I have ever made.  Add a bit of freshly chopped cantaloupe to the bottom of each bowl prior to serving and garnish with a few mint or basil leaves. Delicious.  We started our dinner with this, but this would also be a nice palate cleanser in-between dishes as the fresh clean flavors awakened the palate and got it ready for the next course.

Recipe:

Cold Melon Soup
Ingredients:
1 large cantaloupe + 1/4 of an additional cantaloupe, rind and seeds removed, cut the large cantaloupe into chucks, dice the remaining 1/4 melon for serving
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped roughly + more for garnish
1 cup fresh basil, chopped roughly + more for garnish
1/2 cup white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:
Add all ingredients except the garnish to a blender.  Blend on high until pureed smooth.  Refrigerate until very cold, at least a few hours.  When ready to serve add a teaspoon or two of the reserved melon to the bottom of the bowl.  Adjust any final seasonings to your taste.  Pour into each bowl and garnish with a few herb leaves.

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