8 cups water
2 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
4 ounces granulated sugar
3 fresh cantaloupe*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract**
Mint leaves, sliced into chiffonade strips, for garnish.
Additional cantaloupe, scooped into melon balls, for garnish
In a large soup pot, combine water, ginger root slices and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour to make a simple syrup. Strain out the ginger root and chill overnight.
Remove outer skin and seeds from 2-1/2 cantaloupes. Cut into chunks. Puree with half the simple syrup. If it is too thick, add more syrup to reach desired consistency. Stir in vanilla. Remove the seeds from the remaining 1/2 cantaloupe. Scoop out the flesh using a melon baller.
Ladle soup in to bowls. Garnish with fresh mint and a few melon balls.
*Fresh strawberries in season can be substituted for the cantaloupe.
** Snowbird uses a vanilla bean purée or paste, an infusion of vanilla extract and finely ground vanilla beans. One teaspoon of purée is equivalent to one teaspoon vanilla extract or 1-1/2 inches of a vanilla pod.
Servings: 6 to 8
Source: Bruce Phillips, executive banquet chef, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.