Those of you who follow my blog know I love soup, especially chilled ones in the heat of the summer. Here’s a recipe I’ve been working on for a nice and refreshing cantaloupe and ginger soup. The sweetness of the cantaloupe and the spiciness of the ginger go fantastic together. Add some tangy citrus to the mix (I used freshly squeezed orange juice), a few mint leaves and some smooth and creamy Greek yogurt, and you have a savory chilled soup that’s perfect as a first course or just by itself.
Now here’s the fun part, especially if you are looking for a cool and refreshing summer drink. All you have to do is take your “soup” and mix it with some vodka in an ice-filled shaker. Strain it into a martini or margarita glass, and voila! A great fruity and savory cocktail that is sure to please. Don’t you just love multitasking?
Ingredients for Soup
- 1 ripe cantaloupe (about 4 cups)
- 1 container (5.3 oz.) plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- Juice from one medium orange
- Several mint leaves, broken into pieces (plus more for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or to taste, depending on the sweetness of the melon)
- Ground cinnamon, to taste (I did a few shakes)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Diced cucumber for garnish
- Fresh black pepper for garnish (not shown)
Cut the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces.
Grate the ginger using a microplane.
Place the cantaloupe, ginger, yogurt, fresh orange juice, mint leaves, agave nectar, cinnamon and sea salt into a blender or food processor. My blender is having issues, but I think I would have preferred it over my food processor since it holds more and gets a better puree sooner. But the food processor did the trick.
Blend until pureed. Chill for several hours or overnight.
Pour into bowls and garnish with the cucumber, mint leaves and black pepper. Diced avocado makes a great topping as well.
Ingredients for the Cantaloupe and Ginger Cocktail (Serves 1)
- Chilled cantaloupe and ginger soup (recipe above)
- Vodka, to taste (I used a jigger)
- Mint leaves to garnish
- Fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries, etc. to garnish
I have a small shaker that holds about 1 ¼ cups of liquid. Fill it about ½ to ¾ with ice. Add a jigger of vodka (more or less, depending on taste). Pour in the cantaloupe and ginger “soup” and shake well. Pour into a glass and garnish with mint and/or fruit.
So there you have it — one great base for either a soup or a cocktail. And guess what, you really don’t have to choose — make them both!
Eat, drink and be merry!
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