FFWD – Cold Melon-Berry Soup

Sliced cantaloupe, with a cookbook, a lime and a measuring spoon visible in the background.

It took me half a cantaloupe to get the hang of making melon balls. They aren’t something that’s ever shown up on the menu chez moi, but I’ve only recently begun to appreciate melons. Melon wedges on a fruit tray, yes. Proscuitto wrapped around a slice of melon, certainly. But in my mind, melon balls are fare for a 1960’s country club buffet, piled in pyramids atop shaved ice in a silver dish. Or a cut glass dish on a silver salver. Something like that.

This probably influenced my thinking when I made this week’s melon-berry soup. I kept imagining it presented as though for a wedding supper or an awards banquet. I settled on some pretty etched glasses. A nod to the elegance I’d imagined, with the practicality required of a dish served in the living room. I was making next week’s Coconut Lemongrass-Braised Pork for dinner and thought that this soup would make a nice prelude to the curried sweetness of the stew.

A teaspoon full of ginger, with the rest of the set in view, along with a glass juicer full of lime juice and the bottom of the blender full of melon.

The soup is simply pureed cantaloupe mixed with lime juice and grated ginger, then seasoned with a little salt. After the soup, melon balls and strawberries have chilled for a few hours, the dish is assembled and topped with a sprig of mint. You may add a tablespoon of sweet wine if you like, though I didn’t this time. I think the only thing I’d add to this is a good grinding of pepper. I think that would contrast well with the sweet-tartness of the rest of the dish.

I was at my parents’ house and gave my father his soup while I took photos of the other portions. My mother was playing food stylist/photographer’s assistant, bringing out many of her lovely, eclectic dishes for me to try and then holding up a white piece of card to make the most of the evening light. My Dad came into the kitchen to tell us that he liked the soup so much he’d gladly eat the rest. That’s an excellent endorsement, in my estimation.

An etched wine glass full of melon soup, with melon balls and strawberries and a sprig of mint. Everything sits on a tray atop a red doily on a white lace tablecloth.

I think there are lots of jumping off points for this recipe: ice pops, cocktails, granitas – just make sure you include the melon balls. They’re the best part.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Cold Melon-Berry Soup


25 thoughts on “FFWD – Cold Melon-Berry Soup

  1. Teresa, Your melon soup looks very lovely and elegant! Nice to be able to have your mom help you with your photos. I’m glad your dad really enjoyed this soup. Very nice photos!

  2. Sounds like you had a great time with your parents! I love it when friends and family pitch into our blogging efforts. It’s such a beautiful way to bond. Your soup looks great in the etched wine glasses. I just noticed the captions in your photos! I might have to go back and check out the ones I’ve missed.

  3. How fun! This was my first time making melon balls (I gave in and bought a melon-baller after my first futile attempts using a measuring spoon…)
    Glad your family enjoyed!

  4. Such gorgeous photos, Teresa! I had a time getting the hang of the melon balls as well, and then when I added the soup they totally disappeared in the glass! It sounds like you had such a fun evening with your parents!

    Thank you for your comment on my Bee post. I have not seen Queen of the Sun. I might have to buy the DVD in order to see it because there is not a screening anywhere near here. Hopefully, they’ll get more screenings added.

  5. Why is is hard to get the melon balls right? Mine were round on one side but various geometric shapes on the other. I never quite got the hang of it. I loved them in the soup too. Though I do like cantaloupe (in summer, a wedge is part of breakfast), I made my soup with honeydew instead. I agree with Adriana about family / friend participation. Cooking with people enhances the experience. Great photos! I love the glass you chose for serving.

  6. My week went kablooey so I didn’t get to this one but did enjoy a nice stiff drink that had some orange rind in it so that was sort of like this one. In reading it I couldn’t really figure out where it would fit in my entertaining arsenal. Mini glasses as an appetizer? Nonetheless, yours does look refreshing!

  7. I agree with your Dad that he could eat the whole thing because I did eat the whole thing! It really wasn’t that hard to do! Your glasses are beauties and the cold soup looks elegant in them.
    To me melon balls always go with a sprig of mint and you’re lucky to get maybe 2 or 3 perfect balls out of the melon so always put those balls on top, lol;-)

  8. Very nice soup and photos! I didn’t make this one. Can quite wrap my head around this one – is it served at the beginning of the meal like gazpacho? But it’s sweet, so is it dessert? But it’s called soup!

  9. Teresa your picture is lovely. Your mom obviously did a good job holding the card! What better endorsement than your dad wanting it all?

  10. Your photos are wonderful. I just love that glass that you served the soup in, very pretty.
    It is fun to work together with the family, I know that when Tricia and I work on one of these
    recipes we have a lot of laughs. As for melon balls, mine didn’t turn out too great, but I
    flipped them showing only the good side. Anything for a great picture.

  11. How wonderful that your father was taster while your mother helped with food styling! You’re right that it’s a great jumping point. I can imagine the icy treats already…

  12. Your soup looks gorgeous in those glasses! This dish seemed elegant to me too. I’m glad your Dad liked it so much!

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