SUMMERTIME CANTALOUPE SOUPE

To make this adaptation of chef Ryan Lowder’s Cantaloupe Gazpacho, begin with Utah cantaloupes. “Green River melons are so good,” he says. Purée 1 medium cantaloupe (peeled, seeded, chopped), 1 small cucumber (peeled, chopped), 2 tablespoons chopped red onion and 1/3 cup water in a blender until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve cantaloupe soup chilled, topped with thinly sliced fresh mint. 

PICKING POINTERS

To select ripe cantaloupes, choose ones that smell sweet and give slightly to pressure. No fragrance signals no flavor. Avoid melons that slosh when you shake them and favor a slight green tinge. While melons don’t ripen once they are picked, they do soften. Once cut, wrap cantaloupe tightly in plastic wrapping or store in a sealed container; keep for up to three days.

UTAH FRESH

Nearly every melon sold in Utah is labeled “Green River,” whether it’s grown in Utah or Mexico. You want Utah melons, so check your source. Green River in Emery County boasts the perfect combination of arid, sunny days and cool summer nights for growing sweet, juicy melons—cantaloupes, watermelons, Crenshaws and more. The season begins midsummer and lasts into September, when Green River holds its annual Melon Days Festival on Sept. 17-18. melon-days.com


You can find more cantaloupe recipes here.