This has become one of my favorite recipes of the summer. It’s ridiculously quick and simple and it can be modified to cater to your guests or menu. If you’ve got a vegan in the group, simply leave off the pancetta and creme fraiche. This chilled soup is healthy, delicious, refreshing and holds up on its own! However, I believe it is elevated with the addition of the pancetta and creme fraiche. It’s sort of a riff on melon with prosciutto. Additionally, it can be made spicy by adding cayenne or slightly smokey by adding smoked paprika. Experiment with it and tell me what you like.
1 cantaloupe (flesh only)
1 small cucumber (peeled)
1/3 cup of water
1/4 small red onion diced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
sprinkle of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
1/4 cup diced and fried pancetta
Using a blender liquify the first 5 ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. Then slowly add the olive oil while the blender is still running. Adjust with salt and white pepper. You can blend in a couple of dashes of cayenne if you want a spicier version of this soup. Chill soup in blender until ready to serve. Simply blend it again for a few seconds when you are ready. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pancetta, creme fraiche and cayenne or smoked paprika. Should serve about 6 people.
What I drank…
I enjoyed my soup with a glass of 2012 Woodenhead French Colombard that we picked up on our recent trip up north. I love crisp dry whites with a dish like this!