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Melon soup is elegant in its simplicity
I have been wanting to develop a recipe for piel de sapo melon-based soup for a while. I had the opportunity to finalize it last weekend while designing a nine-course meal for a birthday dinner.
After the meal, when I asked the guests about their favorite dish, they unanimously raved about the melon soup. What makes this soup so special is its simplicity and the use of the right amount of fresh basil and mint leaves. No other ingredients are needed.
Another tip for a successful result is the use of a good blender. I recently switched from using a Vita Mix to a Blendtec, which has a timer for various functions. It can both mix the ingredients and heat the contents through friction.
Since the soup is based on the melon flavor, I added a crostini with dried fruit spread to accompany the soup.
PIEL DE SAPO MELON-BASIL-MINT SOUP WITH CROSTINI
1 large piel de sapo (or "toad skin") melon, 3 to 4 pounds (or any desired melon), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh mint leaves
2 cups hot water
Sprouts for garnish
4 ounces unsalted butter
For dried fruit spread:
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried plums
1 cup medjool dates
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Add the melon, basil, mint and hot water to a blender. Process until smooth. You might need to make few batches and mix them together.
Add the soup to serving bowls and garnish with sprouts. Serve at room temperature with crostini.
Crostini: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in the oven in a heat-proof container. Cut the baguette into 1⁄2-inch slices. Using a brush, butter the baguette pieces and toast them for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Dried fruit spread: Soak the dried fruit in 4 cups of cold water for 30 minutes. Drain. Add fruit and dates to a food processor and pulse just until chopped. Do not process into a fine paste. Stir in the oil until well combined. Spread the mixture on the crostini and serve with the melon soup.