Folks, I wanted to start this recipe with a really funny cantaloupe joke. Turns out, there aren’t any really funny cantaloupe jokes. That punny title was really the only workable, melon related, almost funny thing I found.*
“Jordan, why were you looking for cantaloupe jokes?” you might be asking.
Because I made a recipe in which these bright, orange orbs of deliciousness are the star, and… well… that’s enough reason, right?
This recipe comes from the “3 Chefs, 1 Ingredient” Challenge in this month’s Bon Appétit. It’s a lovely, refreshing, cantaloupe gazpacho from Ryan Lowder at Salt Lake City’s The Copper Onion.
I know that photo above with the ingredients list/directions is slightly fuzzy, so if you’re having a hard time reading it you can also find the full recipe here.
I made this as a starter for the chicken recipe I shared last week, and it couldn’t have been easier. In fact, I am pretty much in love with the idea of any gazpacho in the summer because there is no actual heat required—just take some great, fresh fruits and/or veggies that all work well together and throw them in the blender with a little seasoning, then chill. I probably even did a little more chopping than was necessary to begin with, but not knowing the capabilities or age of my friend’s blender I didn’t want to take any chances. Plus, I just really enjoy chopping things up.
I did make one substitution— I didn’t like the way any of the red onions at the grocery store looked, so I used a shallot, instead. I’ll also caution you to taste your cantaloupe before you add the salt. If it’s not as sweet as you think it oughta be, hold off on adding the 2nd tsp of salt until after you’ve got everything blended.
If your melon isn’t perfectly sweet, this might turn out a little saltier than you want it if you just dump all the salt in at once. I also didn’t end up using the full half cup of olive oil, but not because it didn’t taste good—I was just trying to save a few fat grams. Plus, I really like pretty much any kind of melon, and I wanted that flavour to be super pronounced.
The hardest part about this whole recipe was the prep on the melon— cutting it open, deseeding, peeling, and chunking it up. I really don’t think that’s too much work given how completely un-difficult the recipe is on the whole, but you could always opt to buy the pre-chunked cantaloupe that is sold in most grocery stores.
I tasted the soup straight outta the blender, and then again just before serving and that little hour of chilling (and chilling) in the fridge made a difference, so make sure you let this rest for a bit so all the flavours can really become friends before you serve.
This recipe is just a perfect summer treat. The melon and cucumber keep it super refreshing, and the savory ingredients make it interesting. If you threw together a great composed salad and a sparkly cold beverage, you’d pretty much have the perfect, light, summer meal.
As an aside, the cantaloupe, cucumber, and mint all whirred up together would also be the makings for a delicious popsicle or paleta, no?
*I did, however, find this website full of the cutest little fruit & veg cartoons you’ve ever seen. They’re actually set out in categories. It’s like an overload of adorable.