August Melon Soup

August Melon Soup

Quick, easy-to-make, fatfree, and nutritious, this pretty soup is cool and fresh tasting, a luscious celebration of melon and wonderful for a summer dinner party or brunch. lt can be served as a refreshing counterpoint to something piquant and a bit hot: a Chinese, Thai, or Caribbean grain salad would be a good choice. Or offer it as an inviting starter or as a naturally sweet dessert. Serving the soup in chilled cups is a nice touch.

The flavors of perfectly ripe melons make all the difference in such a simple soup. Choosing the most flavorful cantaloupe can be tricky-almost a matter of luck: look for one that feels heavy for its size, has a slight give at the stem end, has a golden hue under the netting on the skin, and smells sweetly fragrant. Yields 8 cups, serves 4.

1 large honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup orange juice
pinch of salt
1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 to 4 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1/4 cup rum or Midori liqueur (optional) [not GRAP]

In batches in a blender, purée the honeydew melon with the lemon juice, orange juice, and salt. Pour into a bowl and stir in the cantaloupe cubes and the mint. If you wish, add the nutmeg and/or rum or melon liqueur. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve cold.

Variation: Replace some of the cantaloupe cubes with red and/or yellow watermelon cubes.

From: Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads and Extras by Moosewood Collective
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