February 17, 2011

Long melon and almond soup with lemon and mint

Now here's an ingredient I've never tried cooking with before: long melon (also known as fuzzy melon). I believe it is widely used in Asian cuisines, but when I picked one up at the markets I hadn't any idea what to do with it. A salad, perhaps? What I was really feeling like was a refreshing, healthy and good-doing soup, so I came up with this lemony and minty version which, quite frankly, was exactly what I was hoping for.

I used almond meal to give the soup a thicker and wholesome feel and it's perfect for the mild long melon. Lemon and fresh ginger add freshness and tanginess to this soup and fresh mint (lots of it) completes the dish. I recommend you have this chilled with lots of lemon and fresh mint. It is truly refreshing and purifying!

Long melon and almond soup with lemon and mint
(Serve 2-4)

1 long melon, about 500g, peeled and chopped into chunks
250ml water
2 tbsp almond meal
1 thick slice organic lemon + 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
small knob fresh ginger, grated
small bunch fresh mint + more for pureeing 
pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the melon has softened. Let cool slightly then puree with some fresh mint. Leave to cool completely or chill in the fridge. Serve with fresh mint and extra lemon juice, if desired.

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