RECIPE: Cantaloupe Soup With Prosciutto | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures RECIPE: Cantaloupe Soup With Prosciutto | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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RECIPE: Cantaloupe Soup With Prosciutto

Melon and prosciutto (Parma ham) are a classic Italian first course. Chef Ethan Stowell takes a big step beyond, combining the two ingredients into delicious summer soup.

It’s a savory rather than a sweet soup; so if you bring home a cantaloupe that’s disappointing in its lack of sweetness, make soup!

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced fennel
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 large ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, cubed
  • 4 slices prosciutto di Parma, sliced thin
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped chives
    It may look like butternut squash, but this is soup is made from cantaloupe melon. Photo courtesy


    1. HEAT 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and onion; cook without browning, about 5 to 7 minutes until transparent.

    2. ADD half of the cantaloupe; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cantaloupe is cooked through.

    3. TRANSFER the mixture into a food processor. Add remaining cantaloupe and, with processor running, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Process until the mixture is completely smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.

    4. POUR the soup into four shallow soup bowls (yield: 3 cups). Top each with prosciutto, chives and pepper.

    VARIATION: We tried crisping/frizzling the prosciutto in a hot pan. While prosciutto connoisseurs would call this sacrilege, we liked it.


    Have leftover prosciutto? Wrap it around bread sticks as an antipasto or snack with beer, wine and cocktails. Photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese.

    Prosciutto is the Italian word for ham. The term prosciutto is almost always used for a dry-cured ham that is usually sliced thinly and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto.

    The word derives from the Latin pro (before) and exsuctus (past participle of exsugere “to suck out”), and refers to the sucking out of the moisture in the ham by the mountain winds, which whipped through the sheds where the hams were hanging. The modern Italian verb prosciugare means “to dry thoroughly.”

    The finest prosciuttos are PDO-protected: Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham) is made only in the Parma* region of Italy. It is considered a “sweet” ham, cured only with salt but not too salty, and aged for 400 days. Most prosciutto is pressed by a machine to achieve the flat shape.
    *Prosciutto San Daniele, which is also PDO-protected, is made in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy.


    Check out the different types of ham.


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