Chilled Cantaloupe Soup

Serves

Fruit soups are a lovely addition to meals on hot summer days, either as a small first course or a nontraditional dessert. The key to a memorable melon soup is perfectly ripe, luscious, sweet melons. Although the recipe specifies cantaloupes (these are generally the easiest to find), honeydews, Galias, or Sharlyns make wonderful substitutes.


Ingredients

2 medium cantaloupes (peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup sweet white vermouth or sauterne
1 1/2 tablespoons candied ginger (chopped)
2 tablespoons Ginger Syrup
1/3 cup crème fraîche or heavy (whipping) cream
  freshly grated nutmeg
  Fresh mint sprigs (as garnish)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups Sugar
6 ounces fresh ginger root
1/8 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder


Directions

Purée the cantaloupe and lime juice in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Transfer the melon purée to a medium-sized bowl and add the vermouth, candied ginger, ginger syrup, and crème fraîche, stirring to blend.

Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. If not sweet enough, add sugar or honey to taste. Refrigerate the soup, covered, at least 4 hours. Serve in chilled bowls, sprinkle each serving with nutmeg, and garnish with sprigs of mint.

 

Directions

Combine the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a simmer.

Slice the ginger root into thin pieces (no need to peel) and add to the sugar syrup.

Over low heat, simmer the ginger root for 35 to 45 minutes, uncovered. When the syrup has reduced to about 3/4 cup, remove from heat and strain. Discard the ginger.

Add the Chinese Five Spice powder to the hot syrup and stir to blend. Let cool completely.

Store refrigerated in a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 6 months.

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