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When Providence Provides: Cantaloup Soup


This is one of those dishes that begins not with a recipe but a magical mystery tour through my refrigerator during which I play a quick game of matchmaker and the winner is dinner. It may sound contrived, but I actually find that it’s kind of entertaining and, by starting from leftovers, some of the cooking is already done before I even start. Bonus points: fresh meals are made without wasting food I’ve already invested energy into preparing.

Which bring us up to my inventory. A cold soup sounded like a grand idea on this muggy weekend, and I had a bag of frozen cantaloup I wanted to evict from my freezer. My Google research turned up one or two melon soup recipes that used ginger and lemon juice as ingredients. I had neither of these on hand, but providence provides! What I did have was a flat batch of homemade ginger beer (yeast fail!) that I refused to toss on principle, certain I could find a way to incorporate it into something at some point. And what is ginger beer but a sweetened broth of already juiced lemons and grated ginger?

It was an idea I decided to run with, and this tasty soup was ours for dinner. Done any matchmaking of your own lately?

Cantaloup Soup

Cantaloup Soup

5 cups cantaloup, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups strong ginger beer
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp. salt
fresh grated nutmeg to garnish to taste

Place cantaloup in a bowl and pour over the ginger beer. Let sit at room temperature for one hour, allowing fruit to thaw (if using frozen) and beer to lose its carbonation. Add yogurt and salt and puree using an immersion blender. Chill soup completely (if you’ve used frozen fruit, soup will already be nicely chilled and can be served immediately).

Dish soup into small bowls or glasses, garnish with a few scratches of fresh nutmeg.

The Beet of My Heart


It started with the beets.

This weekend I went on a bit of a tear cooking with my eyes more than anything else, and it all began when I spotted a lovely box filled with deep purple beets from Gardener’s Gourmet at the farmers’ market. Since I’d also managed to stuff some cilantro, limes, buttermilk, and broccoli into my basket while shopping, when I got back home, I worked out a plan of attack that looked like this:

First, I got the oven going and made another one of these for the husband.

Then, while the oven was hot, I cleaned, cubed, and roasted the beets like this, though the yogurt dressing I made was pressed garlic, grated ginger, and a whole lime worth of juice. I also made a batch of my favorite chutney.

Beet Hummus and Chutney

Hands stained and taste buds pleased, I knew that I had more roasted beets than even a girl like me could want to eat straight, so I took about half of them and, once they were cool, mixed them with a cup of chick peas and more or less made this version of beet hummus. Meanwhile, I roasted the broccoli pretty much like this (though not for quite as long, as it was getting quite dry).

In the end, lunch looked like this:

Which was pretty in its way, but later I realized I was imagining something a little more dramatic, like this:

Beet Tower Appetizer

I’ve got a couple avocados and some Mexican limes still hanging out in the crisper drawer, so I’m not sure I’m done building yet.