I may or may not be part Italian and I may or may not have grown up eating cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto at every sort of formal family occasion, which is where I may or may not have developed a love of all things salty and sweet.
To freshen and glam up the traditional dish, my best friend and I, as part of a five course meal we prepared ourselves – because we are out of control and love to cook together (even in a 2′ x 2′ kitchen) - pulled together this fresh and delicious cold soup. It is perfect for a hot, humid summer day and looks pretty darn impressive if you ask me.
Cold Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto Crisps
This soup can serve anywhere from 4 to 16+ servings. It makes about 4 big bowls or can be divided down into smaller portions – even into little shot glasses. Just remember that you will need as many pieces of prosciutto as you have servings (unless you are a glutton like me and want more than one crisp per serving).
The soup can be made a day ahead of time and chilled overnight in the fridge. The crisps should not be prepared too much before the time you intend to serve the soup to ensure they do not lose their crispness.
The total hands-on time for this soup is minimal and in reality it can probably be completed from start to finish in about 25 minutes if you have all of your ingredients ready to go.
- 1 cantaloupe
- 1/4-1/2 c plain greek yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste
- prosciutto slices
- 1 avocado (optional)
- Basil (or another herb like mint, parsley, chives, etc)
- olive oil for garnish
Slice the cantaloupe in half and scrape out the seeds.
Scoop out or chop up the cantaloupe flesh and place in a blender or larger bowl if you are using an immersion blender.
Begin to puree the cantaloupe smooth and taste to see how sweet and ripe tasting your melon is.
If you have a large, juicy, very ripe and sweet cantaloupe, you may need the full 1/2 cup of greek yogurt to give it a more creamy texture and mellow out the sweetness slightly. If your cantaloupe isn’t very ripe or juicy, you will probably only need a 1/4 cup of yogurt. Start by adding the 1/4 cup of yogurt, blending, then tasting to see if it needs more.
Add salt and pepper to taste. You don’t want the soup to be salty, but a little salt and pepper will enhance the melon’s sweetness and lend a hint of savoryness to the soup.
When the soup is completely blended and smooth, refrigerate the soup until ready to serve – this chilling time eliminates the frothy bubbles that formed during the blending process leaving you with a smoother soup.
While the soup is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 375. Lay the slices of prosciutto out flat on an aluminum foil or parchment lined baking sheet – do not let the pieces overlap.
Bake the prosciutto for 5 minutes and then turn the slices over and rotate the pan and bake for another 5 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy, but not burned. Set aside to cool.
Chop or slice the avocado and set aside.
Remove the chilled soup from the fridge (it can be served chilled, slightly cooled, or even at room temperature depending on your preference).
Divide most of the avocado among the serving dishes, setting some aside for garnish.
Ladle the soup on top of the avocado.
Garnish the soup with the remaining avocado, prosciutto slices, chopped basil, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately or else the crisp will get soggy, and no one likes a soggy crisp.