For the past several weeks about all I’ve been able to focus on is cooling down. We had a lovely gray and rainy spring and then – BAM! – the heavy fists of Oklahoma summer with its right and left punches of unrelenting sunshine and choking humidity slammed into us. At noon the house gets completely closed up and Kel and I retreat to the dimmest, darkest, coolest spots we can find until evening when we venture outdoors, tender and pale as woodland mushrooms, eyes blinking and squinting in the last of the day’s rays. By mid-August, I’m figuratively climbing the walls, dreaming of the cozy sweatshirt-wearing and cocoa-sipping days ahead.
In the meantime, it’s smoothies, plenty of chilled water, crisp salads, and lots of fresh fruit. Melons are particularly welcome for their high water content and refreshing flesh. Although we love melons straight up, blending them and slurping them up with a spoon is a completely different kind of treat. And of course mint is synonymous with feelings of freshness and coolness. This chilled soup does have a little heat, but it’s not from the stove.
The goods on cantaloupe:
- loaded with the antioxidant vitamin A
- beta carotene helps protect against colon, prostate, breast, and lung cancers
- a healthy does of vitamin C helps bodies repair tissues and form collagen
BTW, I’ve finally gotten myself onto Yummly – you’ll notice you can now easily add my recipes using the button that appears on images. I’d appreciate you sharing my recipes both on Yummly and on Pinterest. You can find my Yummly blog page here: An Unrefined Vegan.
- 1/2 cup large flake coconut
- 1/2 tsp. Sriracha
- 1/4 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. coconut oil, optional
- zest of 1/2 a lime
- 16-ounces cantaloupe chunks (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint (about 5-6 sprigs)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
- Prepare the coconut first. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the Sriracha coconut and stir until the hot sauce, maple syrup, and coconut oil (if using), evenly coat the flakes. Bake the coconut on a small baking sheet or in an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish for 25-30 minutes, stirring several times.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. This yields more than you will use on the soup, but it's tasty on top of salad, too.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and add more mint or lime, if needed.
- Be sure to taste the melon before making this soup. You want a ripe, very sweet melon.
- This soup is best served immediately after blending.