I have a short and simple post for you today, because I've got a lot of packing and preparing to do before I head to the airport for another trip! Tonight I'll be on my way to a continent that I've never been to before: Africa! More specifically, I'm going to Zambia, where I'll be participating in a week-long workshop held in the capital city of Lusaka. I know I won't have much (if any) free time while I'm there, but I'm still really excited to visit a new country and experience new cultures. Although I am a bit worried about the food options there - hopefully there will be enough vegetarian food for me! And if anybody has any tips about what to eat in Zambia, please feel free to share them with me!
I hope to stay in touch while I'm away, but in case I don't get a chance to blog from Africa then I'll be back online in about 10 days - and hopefully I'll have some stories and pictures to share with you from my trip!
And since it's the cooler season in Zambia right now, I'm actually a bit relieved to be leaving the heatwave we're having here in Ontario. When it's this hot out, my idea of the perfect meal is a cold soup made from fresh summer produce.
I really got into chilled soups last summer, when I made a couple versions of avocado soups, and a mango gazpacho that I loved. This summer, the first chilled soup that I made was this cantaloupe-mint soup.
I like the idea of pureeing fruit into a soup, but it's easy to end up with something that tastes more like a smoothie than a dinner. This soup definitely didn't taste anything like breakfast though - the cantaloupe was contrasted with lots of fresh herbs and spices, giving the soup a powerful punch of flavour.
I really liked the clean, refreshing note of the mint, and the lime and chili pepper added extra dimensions of their own. (Note: I used a really hot chili pepper in my soup, but next time I would use something a bit milder like a jalapeno because I found the chili a bit too overpowering).
I'll be at the airport by dinnertime, but this cold, spicy and refreshing soup would definitely hit the spot on a hot night like tonight!
Cold Cantaloupe-Mint Soup
Adapted from Natural Noshing
~4 cups chopped cantaloupe
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 small chili pepper or jalapeno, minced (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1-2 tsp palm sugar or other sweetener
Pinch of sea salt
Plain yogurt for serving (optional)
Place the first seven ingredients (cantaloupe to sugar) in a blender and puree until smooth. You may need to blend the ingredients in batches (ie. blend half of the cantaloupe, then pour it out into a bowl, then puree the rest. Then pour everything back into the blender to finish blending). Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, then blend again to mix.
Transfer soup to a large bowl or container and keep the soup in the fridge for at least one hour before serving to chill.
To serve, pour soup into bowls and stir in a spoonful or two of plain yogurt.
Makes about 3.5 cups