Cantaloupe soup is sweet enough to be served as a dessert but also works well as a great appetizer. This chilled melon soup could also be served as a refreshing intermezzo just before the main course in a summer meal.
Why This Chilled Soup Works
You may have had gazpacho soup before. It’s a chilled soup with origins in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, which has hot summers. The modern version of gazpacho is made using tomatoes, peppers, vegetables, bread, and spices, and you can find it all over the world. The problem that I have with gazpacho is that when done poorly, it’s often salsa marketed as a soup.
I first encountered chilled cantaloupe soup at a St. Louis food event in 2009. Melon soup is a perfect alternative to the acidic tomato chilled soup that so many people love. The one I had was sweet enough to be served as dessert, especially since it was topped with pieces of praline. I decided I’d have to try to make this refreshing summer treat myself with the sweeness slightly toned down. (If you want an experience like the one I had, make some pecan pie bars and serve tiny portions along with the soup.)
How to Make This Cantaloupe Soup
After browsing an array of cantaloupe soup recipes, I came across one that stood out on Organic Valley’s website – chilled cantaloupe soup with lemon and ginger. The ginger added a little kick to the soup and the lemon made it extra fresh and summery. I made some modifications to the original, and my version is a fairly easy recipe to make if you have a microwave and a blender:
Start off by heating butter, honey, grated ginger root, and grated lemon peel in a small bowl in the microwave until the butter is fully melted.
Next, stir and add to a blender along with coarsely chopped ripe cantaloupe.
Blend until completely smooth, stir in milk, and chill thoroughly.
Garnish with mint or basil, and serve in a hollowed out cantaloupe for a particularly nice presentation.
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel heaping
- 6 cups cantaloupe roughly chopped, one medium-sized fully ripe melon
- 1 1/2 cups milk I recommend 2%
- 8 sprigs fresh mint basil is a good alternative
- Place butter, honey, ginger root and lemon peel in a small bowl.
- Microwave until butter is fully melted, about 45 seconds.
- Stir to blend mixture.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape mixture into a food processor or blender.
- Add melon chunks and puree until as smooth as possible.
- Stir in milk.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill thoroughly for at least 4 hours.
- Garnish each serving with a mint or basil sprig. Optionally, serve in a hollowed out cantaloupe.