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Under the Tuscan Sun: Chilled Tuscan Melon Soup

07/21/2017

The summer heat has set in and we’re beginning to have a lot of fun with this season’s produce! One of our favorite dishes at this time of year is Rick’s Chilled Tuscan Melon Soup – a light and flavorful dish that packs a fresh punch. We’ve previously celebrated melon season by serving melon halves, hollowed out and filled with fresh berries and sorbets. Recently, however, we’ve transformed this original dish to incorporate a different texture and presentation. It is simply too much fun to play with the vibrant color and refreshing taste of this special melon. Thus, we have converted our favorite Tuscan melons into soup! This dish may have a unfamiliar look, but the nutritional benefits have remained. Incorporate your daily dose of Vitamin A, C, and antioxidants into breakfast…get your melon on with our Chilled Tuscan Melon Soup!

Have you heard of Tuscan melons before? Also known as Napoli, Tuscan melon has been around since the Egyptian times, about 2400 BC. These little guys are actually a form of cantaloupe. They thrive in the heat, and as such, have a fairly short season. Most farms will start them in wind tunnels due to our cooler springs. These tunnels help the seedlings thrive to maturity. We source from a small specialty farm in Vermont, which harvests these melons at peak ripeness. Tuscan melons are deeply ribbed and have a crisp, sweet orange flesh. While these fruits are relatively small, they have a thick flesh and small seed cavity. Accordingly, each fruit packs a good amount of soup-worthy ingredient!

We love using Tuscan melons because of their very deep and vibrant melon profile. They tend to have a higher sugar content than other melons, making their natural sweetness top-notch. We are careful to harvest them as they are just fully ripe – when their green ribs start to fade and they have reached their optimum flavor profile. If you smell a ripe Tuscan melon, it screams fragrant and sweet! This makes our melon soup the perfect antidote to a hot or humid New England morning. Start your day off on a cool note and try our recipe for yourself!

Tuscan Melon Soup 

Servings: 5
Difficulty: Easy
Print recipe here.

Soup Ingredients:
1 Tuscan melon
2 limes, zest & juice
1.5 inch knob ginger, grated
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp natural sugar
1 Tbsp coconut milk
Pinch of salt

Garnish Options:
Toasted coconut flakes
Micro basil
Melon pieces
Avocado glacé
Toasted almonds or pistachios

Prepare Citrus Broth
Zest and juice two limes into small bowl. Grate knob of ginger into lime zest mixture. Add honey and sugar – stir until fully incorporated with no remaining sugar crystals. Taste and adjust to your liking (i.e. more honey/sugar for a sweeter taste, more lime juice or ginger for an acidic note). Tailor to your liking!

Prepare Melon
Cut melon in half. Scoop out seeds and any fiber strands surrounding the seeds. Slice into wedges (approximately 4 wedges per melon half). Remove melon rind by holding melon wedge in your hand and sliding a pairing knife between the rind and melon flesh. Slice wedges into 1 – 2 inch pieces.

Method for Tuscan Melon Soup
In a blender, add prepped melon pieces and 3/4 of citrus broth (reserve remaining 1/4 for final adjustments). Blend on low speed to break up melon (about 30 seconds). Gradually increase speed to highest setting, until fully blended. Taste. Add remaining citrus broth for an additional pop of acidity, if desired. Add a pinch of salt and coconut milk. Blend on high speed until fully incorporated (about 10 seconds). Transfer to a closed container and refrigerate overnight (this will develop a deeper melon flavor profile and soften the rawness of the melon). Very important step!!

Plating
Remove soup from fridge and mix with a hand whisk for 30 seconds, until blended. Portion about 4 ounces into a small soup bowl or attractive dish. Garnish with suggested options or your own inspirations. Serve immediately, chilled.

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