A simple concoction of puréed melon and milk, brightened with a little lemon zest. So simple and yet ... somehow so unusual, so comforting, so not-your-every-day cantaloupe.
Once upon a time a Sunday, a girl sat on a stool in what by the standards of the day was a big kitchen. She marveled at the commercial cooktop's high-BTU burners and the double ovens.
This was no showcase gourmet kitchen. It was a cook's kitchen with good knives within easy reach, a granite workspace for rolling crusts and croissants, a pantry lined with not-then-common small appliances, a food processor, a bread maker, an ice cream maker, a wine cooler. Years of Gourmet magazines were in easily searchable stacks.
Mostly, she marveled at the kitchen dance performed by the cooks, a husband and wife team working in rhythm side-by-side, conferring, consulting, connecting with one another and the food.
That hot Sunday, a steamy day in July – it was Dallas, after all – the girl fell off her tall stool into the world of simple, seasonal food prepared with care but without fuss.
COLD & CREAMY CANTALOUPE SOUP
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes 8 cups
- 1 large ripe cantaloupe, washed well
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Zest of a lemon
- 3 cups whole milk
- Dash white pepper
- Dash salt
Slice the skins off the melon, cut in half and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into rough cubes. Purée in a food processor or blender, this should yield about 5 cups.
In a large pot, combine the cantaloupe, butter, sugar and lemon zest. Gently bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Stir in the milk and bring back to a simmer, let gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate overnight.
Serve chilled in chilled bowls as a starter or as a main-course soup with a salad or sandwich or as a savory fruit dessert.
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