Summer–even here in paradise–is just no time to heat up a kitchen with big heavy meals. I’m not in the mood to eat them when it’s hot, much less cook them. We’ve been pretty much subsisting on grilled something-or-other and lots of sliced fresh tomatoes sprinkled with coarse sea salt.
The something-or-other is sometimes chicken, sometimes salmon or other fish, but most often it’s beef–a big juicy Porterhouse or a garlic-studded tri-tip roast or a marinated flank steak. Sometimes we’ll toss some olive-oil-rubbed asparagus spears or baby yellow patty pan squash on the grill with the meat, but a hunk of flavorful meat and fresh ripe tomatoes are about all Mike needs on a dinner plate to be happy.
I, on the other hand, like a little more variety in the menu and I’m always poking through food magazines and the food sections of newpapers for a new twist on something to try.
On just such a poking occasion, I happened upon a recipe for a Chilled Melon Soup that sounded cool and tasty, though since it was made with a fair amount of orange juice, I thought it might be a little too carb heavy. So I decided to trim it a little, carb-wise, and put my own spin on it.
The result is a delicious, nutritious, not too carby summer-weight treat. Serve it before a meal of sliced hot or cold grilled chicken breast on a bed of spicy arugula or baby greens tossed with a simple vinaigrette and a handful of slivered almonds for a scrumptious light supper that will hit the spot any hot summer night.
Chilled Fruity Melon Soup
2 cups fresh watermelon, peeled and cubed
1 cup fresh ripe cantaloupe, peeled and diced to ½”
1 package (about 10 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup Sweet Orange Water (recipe follows—make ahead)
1 lime, juice only
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 bunch fresh mint, for garnish
To make the Sweet Orange Water
½ cup water
1 orange, for zest
1 sprig fresh mint
8 packets Splenda, Stevia (or equivalent non-calorie sweetener of choice)
1. Place ½ cup water in a small saucepan; add the zest of one large orange and the sweetener and bring to a boil.
2. Turn off the heat and let the mixture infuse and cool for half an hour at room temperature or place mixture into a container with a tight fitting lid and infuse overnight in the refrigerator.
When ready to prepare the soup:
1. In a blender (working in batches if necessary) puree all ingredients, except the diced cantaloupe, until smooth and thick. (Add a bit of extra water, if needed, to achieve as thick but still soupy a consistency as you like.)
2. Refrigerate the soup for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. Stir well before serving.
3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, top with pieces of diced cantaloupe, and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Protein per serving: 1.7 grams
Effective carbohydrate per serving = 10 grams
Enjoy and keep cool!