Perfectly ripe melon can stand alone, but it also marries well with bold accents, as in this chilled soup with lemon zest and fresh gingerroot.
Briefly heating the flavorings in butter and honey (avoid a hot stove and use the microwave!) brings up the flavors of the seasonings. When you blend this mixture with melon chunks, the results are like sipping on a smile.
You'll need two medium-sized, fully ripe melons for this recipe. Signs of peak ripeness include firmness, heaviness, no soft spots, a hollow sound when thumped, a faint smell of melon at the base, and no rips in the rind. For the ultimate test, take a bite. Your tastebuds will know.
Place butter, honey, ginger root and lemon peel in a small bowl. Microwave until butter is fully melted, about 45 seconds. Stir to blend mixture.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape mixture into a food processor or blender. Add melon chunks and puree until as smooth as possible. Stir in milk. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill thoroughly, 4 or more hours.
Garnish each serving with a mint sprig and some finely diced melon.
To transform this into a dessert, increase the amount of honey and use Organic Valley Half and Half or Vanilla Soy Milk instead of the milk.
Copyright by Terese Allen