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Chilled Melon Soup with Pickled Prawns Recipe by Sharon Hearne Smith

This light, refreshing soup is so easy to make. The sharp pickled prawns balance out the sweetness of the fruit. The melon puree is very versatile and can also be used (if the salt is omitted) to serve over ice cream, or as the base for a smoothie.

You can even freeze it in lolly moulds or make into a granita by following the freezing and scraping method.

Serves 4


For The Soup
– 1 cantaloupe melon (about 1kg)
– 1/2 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and nely grated
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
– Small handful of tiny fresh mint sprigs
– Sea salt

For The Prawns
– Juice of 3 limes
– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
– 1/2 tsp caster sugar
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 12 cooked peeled tiger prawns (tails left on if you like)
– 1 kaffir lime leaf
– 1/4 cucumber

1. To pickle the prawns, pour the lime juice and vinegar into a small, non-metallic bowl or resealable food bag.
2. Add the sugar and salt, then stir or shake until they dissolve. Add the prawns and lime leaf. Peel the cucumber and halve it lengthways.
3. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then slice. Add to the bowl or bag and toss well. Cover or seal and chill in the fridge to pickle for at least 2 hours or overnight to pickle, stirring or squidging occasionally.
4. Quarter the melon, discard the seeds and remove the flesh from the skin. Use the melon baller to scoop out 32 balls from the flesh and set these aside. Alternatively, simply slice the flesh into 32 x 1cm dice.
5. Roughly chop the remaining flesh and pop it into a food processor or blender. Add the ginger and lemon juice.
6. Blitz for 1 minute until as smooth as possible. Season to taste with a little salt.
7. Pour into a large jug, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight, until well chilled. This can be made up to two days in advance.
8. Divide the soup evenly between wide, shallow bowls. Drain the prawns and cucumber and discard the lime leaf.
9. Arrange three prawns in the centre of each bowl, then top with pickled cucumber and the reserved melon balls or pieces. Drizzle with a little olive oil, garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

For A Twist
– Instead of the pickled toppings, garnish with crumbled feta or goats’ cheese.
– Serve in a fun and frosty ‘ice bowl’, as shown in the photo. These are made by placing a small bowl inside a larger bowl and freezing water in the gap between them.
– For a pretty effect, pack the water full of lime slices, herbs or edible flowers, before freezing. To remove, very briefly run rst the outer and then the inner bowl under hot water.

Chilled Melon Soup

Photo credit: Cristian Barnett


Sharon Hearne-Smith Cristian Barnett

Sharon Hearne-Smith has over two decades of experience of ghostwriting, recipe testing and food styling for high profile cookbooks, food magazines and TV cookery shows.

She has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Jamie Oliver, Rachel Allen, Lorraine Pascale, Gordon Ramsay, James Martin, and on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook. Sharon lives in Dublin with her husband and two daughters.

Sharon’s books, No-Bake Baking and The No-Cook Cookbook are available in all good bookstores and online at Amazon and Easons.

SHearneSmith SHearneSmith
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