Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet Melon Soup

In general, I don’t suppose fresh melons need any fiddling, tinkering or messing around. They’re sweet and juicy and slices, cubes, or balls of melon are a side dish, dessert or snack all on their own. I, of course, don’t leave well enough alone. I want something even more interesting. I want a recipe.  don't worry.  This one's easy.

I’m not the type to put melon in a savory dish like gazpacho or cucumber salad or to wrap wedges with prosciutto. It’s not that I’m not adventurous. It’s that I’ve tried some of these melon treatments, and I didn’t like them. My loss, I’m sure.

This year, I wanted to try some of the sweet recipes I’ve collected over the years based on melon purees. There was a sweet melon dessert soup that was on my mind, but I looked at that recipe, looked at what I had on hand, and decided I wasn’t going to be following that recipe all that closely.

Speaking of what I had, my CSA box last week held a Galia melon. A look and a taste will leave one with no surprise that the Galia is a honeydew-cantaloupe hybrid. It has pale green flesh that tastes perhaps a little more like cantaloupe that honeydew. The flesh is smooth and firm and lends itself rather nicely to being pureed.

I sweetened my melon soup with a touch of honey, punched it up with a handful of mint and a squeeze of lime juice and spiked the melon flavor even more with a splash of Midori, a bright green-colored melon liqueur. The flavor added by my homegrown peppermint leaves was a fabulous partner to the pure and heightened (by the Midori) melon flavor. It, along with the acidity of the lime juice kept this dessert soup refreshing rather than overly sweet and cloying.

A honeydew melon would be a great substitute for the Galia I used, as would a cantaloupe. I will say that since the mint and especially the Midori are so green, I cannot vouch for the pleasantness of the color of a soup made with the pink-orange flesh of cantaloupe. It might just turn an unappetizing shade of tan or light brown. I’d like to try this with a watermelon, too, but I’m not sure how the difference in the texture of the watermelon might change the final product. Hey, just tossing ideas around, but perhaps a watermelon puree like this could be strained, poured into little glasses, and served as a refreshing beverage. And if you spike that beverage with a little more Midori, and perhaps a splash of vodka or rum…well, I’m thinking the last weeks of summer might just be a little happier.

Sweet Melon Soup with Mint and Midori

4 cups seeded, peeled and chopped honeydew, muskmelon, or Galia melon (about half of a medium-size melon)
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons Midori (melon liqueur)
pinch salt

1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until very smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors by adding more honey or lime juice if desired. Chill. Stir or whisk the soup before serving to redistribute the separated pulp.

Makes about 4 servings.

One year ago: Layered Brownie Ice Cream Dessert

Two years ago: Zucchini and Mint Frittata with Tomatoes on Top

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