We spent a gorgeous morning this past Saturday, July 24, signing and selling copies of The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook at the Copake Hillsdale Farmers’ Market. We also demoed the recipe for Chilled Melon Soup with Mint, one of our favorites and a supremely easy summer staple.
The colorful no-cook soup was such a huge hit, we wanted to provide the recipe here in case you don’t have your own copy of the cookbook—and to tempt you to buy one at your local independent bookstore!
The soup is inspired by Dave’s Melons, a farm in Pittsfield, MA that grows the tastiest cantaloupes and honeydews around. Owner Dave Leavitt is one of the many farmers profiled in the book. And while you won’t find Dave’s melons at your local farmers’ market, you will find them at Guido’s (in Pittsfield and Great Barrington).
Chilled Melon and Mint Soup
This refreshing cold soup is an elegant starter course or a healthy dessert on a summer evening. Zesting citrus, like the lime and oranges in this recipe, is a great way to add flavor. It’s important, though, to zest only the colored surface of the fruit’s skin, not the white pith, which can be bitter. This recipe lends itself especially well to being doubled (and to experimenting with different varieties of melons).
1 large lime
2 large oranges
½ large honeydew melon (2 to 2½ pounds), seeded, peeled, and 1- inch diced
3 tablespoons loosely packed fresh mint leaves
½ large cantaloupe melon (1½ to 2 pounds), seeded, peeled, and 1- inch diced
Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Place four soup bowls in the refrigerator to chill.
- Zest the lime until you have ½ teaspoon of zest and set aside. Zest one orange until you have ½ teaspoon of zest and set aside. Juice the lime and oranges until there is 1 tablespoon of lime juice and ½ cup of orange juice. Mix the juices together in a measuring cup with a lip for easy pouring and set aside.
- Working in batches if necessary, puree the honeydew cubes and mint leaves in a blender until smooth and the tiny pieces of mint are as fine as possible. Pour half of the juice mixture into the puree and blend again to mix well. Transfer to a glass jar or covered dish and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- While the honeydew puree chills, rinse the blender with cold water. Working in batches if necessary, puree the cantaloupe cubes until smooth. Pour the remaining juice mixture into the cantaloupe puree and blend again to mix well. Transfer the cantaloupe puree to a glass jar or covered dish and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Remove the chilled soup bowls from the refrigerator and line them up on a work surface. Pour ¾ cup of the honeydew puree into the bottom of each bowl. Gently, to avoid splashing, pour ¾ cup of the cantaloupe puree down the side of each of the serving bowls, so that the two colors of soup are separate and each takes up half of the serving bowl. Sprinkle a pinch or two of the orange zest on the green honeydew soup side, and a pinch or two of the lime zest on the cantaloupe soup side, and serve. If desired, garnish with mint sprigs.