We’re winding down to the deepest days of summer, and frankly, the struggle is real. The salad fatigue has begun to set in, and it’s just too hot to fire up the grill again. So we took a page from—who else?—our Short Stack authors, who pointed us in the brilliant direction of chilled soup.
In Volume 4, Angie Mosier offers up a tangy sweet recipe for charred corn and buttermilk soup, which is rich and fresh in all the right ways; and our newest author, Beth Lipton, has a knockout recipe for peach gazpacho. But the soup we just can’t seem to shake is the delicate, inventive recipe from Sara Jenkins. Each bowl of her chilled cantaloupe puree is accompanied by crostini slicked with melon butter and draped with prosciutto.
Beat that, heat.
Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto Crostini
1 small, ripe cantaloupe, divided
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 shallot, diced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 slices crusty bread
8 paper-thin slices 24-month aged prosciutto di Parma
Halve the melon and scoop out the seeds. Set aside one of the halves; peel and dice the other half, and place the flesh in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cucumber, shallot and a pinch of salt and puree. Add the vinegar and puree until smooth. Add the yogurt and pulse a few times to combine. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow and steady stream. Transfer the soup to a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. (If the soup separates a bit overnight, just give it a whisk to recombine.)
Remove the peel from the other half of the cantaloupe and cut the flesh into chunks. In a food processor, puree the melon with the butter, letting it run for about 10 minutes to really blend the two ingredients. When the melon butter turns a beautiful salmon color and is completely combined, spoon it out onto a roll of parchment paper and roll it up like a log. Transfer the butter to the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
To serve, toast the bread slices until barely golden. Spread a bit of the melon butter over each piece of toast, then top with a piece of the prosciutto. Pour the soup into small glasses so your guests can sip it without a spoon. Serve the melon soup with the toast.