Chilled Melon Soup is a sweet, refreshing, and fragrant dessert that’s the perfect end to a hot summer day’s meal.
I needed a break from the moving fiasco, so for this long holiday weekend I made an escape to Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. LBI, as it is often called, is a quintessential, if understated, New Jersey beach experience. There aren’t as many attractions as other beaches and it is missing a roudy boardwalk, but honestly, I can easily do without one. The beaches here are clean and family-friendly. I was afraid the water would still be chilly at this time of year, but during a quick sunset swim yesterday, I found it to be pleasant and not cold at all!
On a hot summer day, especially on a hot beach day, why not make this Chilled Melon Soup? I love dessert soups of all kinds. Apple, strawberry, and peach soups—they’re all good! This one uses cantaloupe or crenshaw melons. Sometimes you can find musk melons which are very good, too. The ones I used were labelled “Tuscan” melons and the flavor was powerfully fragrant and super sweet. You’ll want to use ripe fruit for this soup, so let your melon sit out on the counter to concentrate the sugars and become aromatic before using. Then simply blend all the ingredients up, chill completely, and garnish with the almond and mint “gremolata” I’ve included below.
- 4 cups melon (cantaloupe, crenshaw, tuscan, musk)
- 6 Tablespoons coconut cream or coconut milk
- 1- 2 Tablespoons sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- ⅓ cup whole blanched almonds or slivered almonds
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- big pinch of sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- Peel and chop the melon and put it into the blender with the coconut cream, sugar, ginger juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. Blend until fully puréed. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours until cold.
- In the meanwhile, make the almond and mint topping. Combine the almonds, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar starts to melt and the almonds toast. When the almonds become golden and the sugar has melted, remove from heat and carefully transfer the nuts onto a parchment-lined sheet. They are hot, so be careful. Once the nuts have cooled, chop them. Add the minced mint and lemon zest and stir to combine.
- When you are ready to serve, pour some chilled soup into bowls and swirl a dollop of coconut cream on top. Garnish with a spoonful of the almond/mint/lemon zest topping. Enjoy cold.
-Make the ginger juice by finely grating fresh ginger and squeezing the juice out of the pulp. Discard the pulp after you've extracted as much juice as possible.