Unusual Cantaloupe Ginger Soup
3 cantaloupe melon, de-seeded and peeled
1 honeydew melon, de-seeded and peeled
1 pineapple, trimmed of outside skin, eyes, and leaves, discard core
½-1 gallon orange juice
2 jalapeno, de-seeded (optional)
½ cup honey
1 pound fresh ginger, peeled, cut pieces
Garnish: cantaloupe and honeydew melon balls
Crème fraiche or sour cream (optional)
1. Clean melons and ginger of outer skin. Using melon baller, scoop smallish balls from flesh of one of each melon. Reserve.
2. Cut remaining melons flesh in largish chunks. Cut ginger in ½ inch pieces. Smash with clean hammer (plastic wrapped)
3. Pour orange juice in large soup kettle. Add ginger, jalapeno and melon chunks. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Allow fruit to steep in orange juice until room temperature, overnight is good.
4. Puree mixture in food processor or good blender (i.e., Vita-mix)
4. Strain pulp. A chinoise or china cap makes this easy; but any strainer over a large bowl will work. Press solids to extract as much liquid as possible
5. Label, date and refrigerate.
6. Service: spoon into bowls. Place melon balls and blueberries in bowl. Sour cream/crème fraiche is optional garnish; squiggle on top of soup before placing melon balls and blueberries.
7. Accept all compliments graciously
Susan Delbert joined The Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club as Executive Chef after working at The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C. as Sous Chef for several years. Delbert has worked in several Washington restaurants, including The Oval Room, BeDuCi in Dupont Circle and Gerard’s Place. She started her culinary career as a Front of the House Maitre d’ in Clyde’s of Chevy Chase. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where she graduated at the top of her class. She was an invited participant in an Italian regional cooking program sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission.