A chilled melon soup

I planned to bake cornbread and fry okra for dinner Thursday night. Paired with sliced ripe tomatoes and freshly cooked pink-eyed peas, they make a classic Southern meal, something I make for myself once every summer. It's a seasonal, feel good meal, one I look forward to. Another day of scorching temperatures made me rethink my course of action.

A cantaloupe hid in the corner of my refrigerator — an overly ripe, slightly dented specimen from a CSA box of old. This not-so-attractive fruit, peeled, chopped and combined with a handful of almonds, turned into dinner with the help of my Waring blender and a few drops of citrus juice. I think of this as a super-simplified take on grape and almond gazapacho. A cucumber might be a nice addition to the melon-almond soup recipe below (I didn't have one), and the heat of a jalapeno pepper would be an interesting twist. My cantaloupe was very sweet, but add a bit of simple syrup or agave nectar if your soup needs a little sugar.

Simple syrup is made by combining equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Adding granulated sugar to the soup would result in a grainy texture.

The following recipe would serve 3-4 as an appetizer; in typical single gal fashion, I consumed 2 helpings, slipped Season 5, Disc 1 of Six Feet Under into the DVD player, and supplemented my delicious starter with popcorn. Everything — entertainment included — was wonderful, but I'm a little depressed. There is no Season 6.

Chilled Melon and Almond Soup
Serves 3-4

1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1 ripe cantaloupe, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
pinch of kosher salt
mint leaves, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil

Put the almond slivers in a heat-resistant bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for at least 30 minutes, allowing them to soften.

Put 1/4 of the peeled and chopped cantaloupe into a blender with cold water — enough to get the blades going without trouble — and puree. With the blender running, add the rest of the melon, a few pieces at a time, and puree until smooth. Add lemon and lime juice, and a pinch of kosher salt. Taste, and add a few teaspoons of simple syrup or agave nectar if necessary. If the soup is too thick, thin it with more cold water.

Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped mint leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.


  1. Last night we watched episode one of season one, as Nick has never seen any of the series. I was obsessed with Six Feet Under several years ago. Sometimes I'd spend the weekend with my parents and Betty and I would stay up watching episode after episode and suddenly it would be 3 am. I have to say, I watched so much and it got so dark that I think it actually made me depressed. Moderation might've helped.

  2. wow this looks fab your so creative let me know if you ever want to guest post on chow and chatter email me


  3. Lemon Gloria,

    I hope Nick enjoys the series as much as I do - it's brilliant! And I, too, am guilty of staying up way past bedtime to view an entire disc.

    Chow and Chatter,

    Thanks so much - I will email you. I hope to return from vacation mid-August refreshed and ready to write.

  4. The soup looks gorgeous. Can't wait for our summer to try it.

  5. Ellie - Thanks for the compliment. I just wish my photos were as good as yours!

  6. Wow, this soup is perfect for the Summer, would love to try it...and soon :-)

  7. Juliana - I hope you will try it. Thanks for stopping by!