Friday, August 10, 2012

Melon Soup with Prosciutto Chips


            This ice cold melon soup is a bowl of pure refreshment on a hot day. It's a play on the classic combo of prosciutto and melon, but with a little twist. I first saw my friends Max do this dish a few years ago, and I thought this re-invention was pure genius. The pureed melon is smooth and delicious and the  prosciutto chips add a nice salty crunch. The idea of adding orange juice and honey come from Pascal, the head chef at Chez Ma Grosse Truie Cheri. The honey and orange juice help make the texture extra smooth and the add to the soup's flavour without distracting from the taste of the melon. A bit of fresh herbs will brighten up the flavour even more.  I like using lemon balm, but mint and basil also work really well.

Ingredients:

2 cups honeydew melon, peeled  & chopped
2 cups canteloupe , peeled & chopped
2 cups watermellon, peeled & cubed
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup lemon balm, finely chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 350F



1. Lay the slices of prosciutto in a single layer, without touching, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven until crispy, about 10 - 15 minutes. How long they take will depend on the thickness of the prosciutto. Keep a close eye one them because they can burn easily.


2. To peel the melons, cut them into wedges and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Run the knife along the bottom to remove the peel. Cut the canteloupe and honeydew into rough pieces and then place in the blender. Cut the watermelon into small cubes and then put it the fridge until ready to serve. Check the watermelon for seeds as you cube it.

3. Combine the honeydew, canteloupe, honey & lemon juice in the blender. Blend on low for one minute and then on high for one minute more. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour, or in the freezer for 10 minutes.

To serve: Divide the soup among bowls, leaving room for the watermelon. Add a generous amount of cubed watermelon to each bowl. Garnish with fresh lemon balm & a prosciutto chip.

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